There have been unconfirmed reports that suggested two people have taken their lives over the Ashley Madison hack.
According to Toronto police service staff superintendent Bryce Evans, the two Ashley Madison suicides were associated with the leak of the site’s customer profiles.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 24, 2015
One of the suicide victims was Captain Michael Gorhum of the San Antonio Police Department. Gorhum, who served in Texas’ police force for 25 years, reportedly took his life just days after information surfaced that his official email address was among those included in the Ashley Madison data dump.
During a press conference, Evans acknowledged that the reports of the suicides were still unconfirmed and that Ashley Madison being a cheating website was “of no interest to us as the investigative teams.” The acting superintendent has asked for aid from the hacking community and addressed the Impact Team as well.
“I want to make it very clear to you your actions are illegal and we will not be tolerating them,” Evans warned. “This is your wake-up call.”
The rumored Ashley Madison suicide was something that security analyst Brian Krebs feared would happen. The analyst was the first one to report the hack, having received a message from the hackers.
“There’s a very real chance that people are going to overreact,” Krebs stated last week. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw people taking their lives because of this, and obviously piling on with ridicule and trying to out people is not gonna help the situation.”
The Ashley Madison hack is one of the largest hacking jobs ever pulled off, with the hackers getting their hands on about 33 million profiles. Calling themselves the Impact Team, the hackers demanded that the infidelity website and its sister site Established Men be shut down not because of the morals (or lack thereof) of the site but because it required clients to pay a fee in order for their accounts to be deleted permanently. According to the hackers, the company still retained the customer’s personal information.
The Toronto police are said to be dealing with the corresponding “spin-offs of crimes and further victimization” that came from the fallout of the Ashley Madison hack. Extortion and phishing attempts have been noted as among these crimes.
One scam comprised of “hack checking” websites gathering the emails of those who curiously checked if their names were included in the hack. The hackers would then send malignant software to those emails.
Another new scam that Evans detailed were sites that claim to erase a person’s name from the Ashley Madison database.