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article imageToronto police: Two unconfirmed suicides over Ashley Madison hack

By Karen Graham     Aug 24, 2015 in World
Toronto - At least two people may have committed suicide, and a number of "hate crimes" have been reported because of the hacking of the Ashley Madison website, Toronto police said on Monday.
At a Monday morning news conference, Toronto Police Acting Staff Superintendent Bryce Evans warned hackers of the Ashley Madison infidelity website that their actions "won't be tolerated," adding two suicides may have been connected to the hacking.
CBC News quoted Evans as saying, "This hack is one of the largest data breaches in the world." As a result of the hack last month, over 30 million email addresses and some credit card information were released.
With data breaches and Internet security under intense scrutiny, deep-seated fears have been brought to a new level as U.S. government officials, UK civil servants, as well as workers at European and North American corporations are trying to deal with the fear of once-secret trysts being made public.
Toronto-based Avid Life Media Inc, the parent company of ashleymadison.com is offering a reward of C$500,000 (US$379,132) to anyone with information leading to the arrest of the hackers involved. Avid Life Media Inc operates several dating sites, including Ashley Madison and Established Men.
Launched in 2001, Ashley Madison is an online dating and social networking site for people who are married or in "committed relationships." Its tagline is "Life is short. Have an affair," says Newsweek.
Evans would not confirm whether the unconfirmed suicides took place in Canada or elsewhere. He did warn people whose data may have been compromised that there are a number of scams on the Internet in the wake of the breach.
Evans said a number of sites are extorting Ashley Madison users, demanding a fee for erasing their names and data. Evans says that is not possible. "Nobody is going to be able to erase that information," Evans said. He added that clicking on some of those links exposes your computer to malware and viruses.
A group that calls itself Impact Team is claiming responsibility for the hack, and some of the data was dumped online last week. The date has been determined to be authentic by several sources. The RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto police and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation are all involved in investigating this crime.
To add to Ashley Madison's problems, lawyers filed a class-action lawsuit last week seeking $760 million in damages on behalf of Canadians whose information was leaked, according to Reuters.
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