An international roster of police and private investigators are vowing to vigorously pursue the people who hacked the Ashley Madison dating website for cheaters, with the cheating site offering a $500,000 reward and appealing for help from hackers around the world.
The full-court press comes amid a report of at least two suicides of people whose personal information was included in the massive dump of account data for Ashley Madison, which carried the tag line “Life is short. Have an affair.” It’s too early to say if the exposures were the proximate reason the individuals took their lives, but the deaths were discussed during a press conference the Toronto Police Service held early Monday morning. Bryce Evans, acting staff superintendent, said the outing of so many people in committed relationships cheating on their partners crossed a line that could destroy lives and careers of millions of people around the world.
Wakeup call
He called on hackers around the world to provide tips to law enforcement agencies working to identify the people who thoroughly rooted the servers of Ashley Madison parent company Avid Life Media. He also said the investigation was being carried out jointly by his department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the US Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and others. A Homeland Security official said the department investigates matters potentially involving the extortion of federal employees. As Ars reported last week, leaked account details showed hundreds of federal workers used Internet connections in their federal offices to pay membership fees for and use the site. Additionally, he said Avid Life Media has pledged a $500,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the people responsible for the compromise, who have dubbed themselves Impact Team.
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