Ashley Madison data leak linked to Canadian suicides
Cheating has now officially taken a deadly serious turn for exposed Ashley Madison customers, with Toronto police attributing at least two recent suicides to the fallout of the mass release of customer data.
While police aren’t currently circulating more details on the deaths, they are investigating the hackers for the criminal data breach, according to the BBC. The increasingly impactful repercussions of the hack are leaving Canadian users of the site beyond alarmed.
Ashley Madison is a paid extramarital dating website run by Canadian-based company Avid Life Media. The website boasts a purported 37 million users worldwide, 273,000 of which belong to Canadian email addresses, according to Global News.
National Post reported that hundreds of user emails exposed in the hacking appear to be linked to the RCMP, military and Canadian government officials at federal, provincial and municipal levels. Using government email addresses for Ashley Madison could be considered a misuse of government resources — possibly leading to employment repercussions or firings for alleged users.
The impact of the data release has been far-reaching and serious for Canadians, with the now two related suicides reported in Toronto and a growing list of users that could face further consequences... beyond angry spouses.
In July, the hacker group known as The Impact Team publicly threatened to release customer data in response to what it deemed to be immoral behaviour and dishonest security claims; on Aug. 18, the hackers followed through on their threat.
Avid Life Media is currently offering a $500,000 reward for information on the hackers, and Toronto police have issued a statement declaring the hackers’ actions as illegal and under investigation.