Ashley Madison is offering a $500,000 reward as police say there have been 2 unconfirmed suicides

ashley madison press conferenceBI

A Toronto Police Service press conference on Monday shed significant new light on the fallout from the devastating hack of Ashley Madison, an dating website specialising in extra-marital affairs.

Superintendent Bryce Evans announced that Avid Life Media, the parent company of Ashley Madison, is offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to the succesful arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the leak of more than 30 million customers' personal information.

Evans also said that there have also been two unconfirmed reports of suicides linked to the leak of data, which has the potential to be highly compromising and includes email addresses and sexual preferences.

Describing the hack as as "one of the largest data breaches in the world," Evans said that the attack will "have a longterm social and economic impact," and has "already sparked spinoff crimes, and victimisations." The officer said the department "received the call this morning" about the suicides, which he stressed were unconfirmed. He did not provide further details.

The press conference also provided further information on the timeline of the breach. Evans says that Avid Life Media first became aware that its systems were breached on July 12. Employees came into work and loaded up their computers, at which point they were greeted with a message informing them that they had been hacked, and demanding that the company close down Ashley Madison as well as sister site Established Men. The song Thunderstruck by AC/DC played alongside the message.

Here's a screenshot of the message that appeared:

ashley madison ransom noteBI

The superintentent said that there is "no sign of wrongdoing involving Avid Life Media," and that the attack has "crossed the line" because of its impact on its millions of users. There have already been multiple reports of extortion attempts of users, with would-be blackmailers threatening to "out" members unless they pay a bitcoin ransom. Evans confirmed that the Toronto Police Service was looking into these blackmail attempts, along with a number of other related criminal incidents.

Here's a screenshot of an email sent attempting to extort an Ashley Madison member:

ashley madison blackmailBI

This story is developing, refresh for updates...

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