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Police investigating 2 unconfirmed suicides in Ashley Madison hack

WATCH ABOVE: The Ashley Madison data dump is taking a personal toll on families around the world. Now, Toronto police have announced two unconfirmed reports of suicides linked to the lead of users private date from the cheating website. Jennifer Tryon reports.

TORONTO – Toronto police revealed Monday they are investigating two unconfirmed reports of suicides relating to the data hack targeted against adultery website Ashley Madison.

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“As of this morning, we have two unconfirmed reports of suicides associated because of the leak of Ashley Madison customer profiles,” said Acting Staff Superintendent Bryce Evans during a press conference at Toronto police headquarters on Monday.

The Toronto-based website, which offers to connect people looking to have an affair, was initially hacked last month by a group called The Impact Team.

READ MORE: What we know about the Ashley Madison data dump

The hacker group’s data breach exposed some 32 million memberships in the adultery website last week.

WATCH: Highlights from Toronto Police news conference on Ashley Madison hack investigation

Police call on hackers to help with Ashley Madison investigation

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Police call on hackers to help with Ashley Madison investigation

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Toronto Police urging those who are getting extortion messages from Ashley Madison hack not to pay

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Toronto Police are not concerned with the nature of Ashley Madison’s online service, only the crime that was committed

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Toronto Police outline timeline of events in Ashley Madison hack

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Toronto Police stress ‘social impact’ of Ashley Madison hack on families

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Toronto Police sends message directly to those behind Ashley Madison hack




“The ripple effect of the Impact Team’s actions has and will continue to have a long term social and economic impacts and they have already sparked spin-offs of crimes and further victimization,” said Evans.

The San Antonio Express-News reported last week a city worker who had his user data compromised in the hack committed suicide on Thursday. But the publication admitted it was unclear Friday whether his death had anything to do with the leak.

Police say employees at Avid Life Media Inc., the company which operates the website, received a threatening message on their work computer screens accompanied by the ACDC song ‘Thunderstruck’ on July 12.

The message warned the company it would expose personal user data if the website was not shut down.

Police say Avid Life Media Inc. immediately hired a security firm and contacted law enforcement on the alleged threat.

“When reporting events to police, Avid Life Media advised that the suspect had in fact already made good on the threat by releasing the information on two Ashley Madison clients, one from Mississauga, Ont. and the other from Brockton, Mass. through the internet on July 19,” said Evans.

READ MORE: Ashley Madison data dump blunts blackmail danger, ex-CSIS agent says

But despite efforts to prevent the exposure of further confidential client information, police say The Impact Team released the entire Ashley Madison user list on Aug. 19.

There are hundreds of email addresses in the data release that appear to be connected to federal, provincial and municipal workers across Canada, as well as to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the military.

Fallout from Ashley Madison hack continues, Class Action lawsuit planned

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Fallout from Ashley Madison hack continues, Class Action lawsuit planned

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Hackers release Ashley Madison user information

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15,000 emails exposed during Ashley Madison hack allegedly traces to U.S. gov’t accounts

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Ashley Madison hackers release personal information of extra-marital website’s users




The credit-card information of U.S. government workers, some with sensitive jobs in the White House, Congress and the Justice Department, was also revealed in the data breach.

READ MORE: Will the Ashley Madison hack force us to take online privacy more seriously?

Some of the information released include at least seven years’ worth of credit card and payment information details as well as users’ personal names, emails, home addresses and message history.

Police have confirmed a number of clients have also been contacted in an attempt to extort money from them.

“If you would like to prevent me from sharing this dirt with all of your friends and family (and perhaps even your employer too?) then you need to send exactly 1.05 Bitcoins to the following address,” said an email dated Aug. 23 directed at a client released by Toronto police on Monday.

Police say the Bitcoin amount is equal to around $300 Canadian.

VIDEO: Toronto Police urging those who are getting extortion messages from Ashley Madison hack not to pay

Police sent a direct message to the group behind the hack warning them that multiple law enforcement agencies are now on their tails.

“Team Impact, I want to make it very clear to you that your actions are illegal and will not be tolerated,” said Evans.

“This is a wake up a call. We will continue to work with law enforcement officers to stop or minimize the social and economic impact of your actions.”

The investigation into the hack has been made up of several police forces including the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

VIDEO: Toronto Police stress ‘social impact’ of Ashley Madison hack on families

Police are warning the public and clients of Ashley Madison not to click on links to download the hacked information due to security risks.

“Criminals have already engaged in online scams by claiming to provide access to the leaked websites,” said Evans.

“The public needs to be aware that by clicking on these links, you are exposing your computer to malware, spyware, adware and viruses.”

Evans is also advising Ashley Madison clients to refrain from using websites which offer to erase customer profiles for a fee.

“This is also a scam. Multiple sites have now been downloaded and they are present. Nobody is going to be able to erase that information,” said Evans.

A national class-action lawsuit of $578 million was recently launched for Canadian subscribers to Ashley Madison.

Filed last Thursday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the lawsuit targets Avid Dating Life Inc. and Avid Life Media Inc., the operators of AshleyMadison杭州龙凤.

The company also announced a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of those involved in the hack.

Review a liveblog of the press conference from Global News reporter Caryn Lieberman

With a file from Nicole Bogart and The Associated Press