Toronto police on Monday reportedly received news of two suicides related to the hacking of cheating website Ashley Madison.
Police revealed the news at a press conference in Toronto, the BBC reports, but did not give additional information on the deaths.
Last month, the website suffered what local law enforcement officials are calling one of the largest data breaches in the world. The site, which boasts around 39 million members, is marketed to people looking for extramarital relationships. Its slogan is: “Life is short. Have an affair.”
Last week hackers claimed to have leaked the personal data of millions of people that was stolen in the cyberattack on Ashley Madison’s parent company, Toronto-based Avid Life Media.
WIRED reported that a group called the Impact Team, which claimed responsibility for last month's hack, posted 9.7 gigabytes of stolen user data on the so-called "dark web," a reference to a part of the Internet that can only be accessed through a specialized browser.
Acting Staff Supt. Bryce Evans, of the Toronto Police, appealed for hackers to help the investigation Monday. “To the hacking community, who engage in discussions on the dark web and who, no doubt, have information that could assist this investigation, we’re appealing to you to do the right thing,” he said, during the press conference. “This is a unique situation that has caused enormous social and economic fallout.”
“You know that the Impact Team has crossed the line,” added Evans. “Do the right thing and reach out to us.”
The “dark web,” or “darknet,” refers to the shadowy recesses of the web – an area that poses ongoing challenges to law enforcement.
"This aint' fun and games anymore, this is reality, this is affecting all of us," Evans told Toronto Metro Monday. "The social impact behind this leak, we're talking about families, we're talking about children, we're talking about wives, their male partners. It's going to have impacts on their lives.”
Avid Life Media says it's co-operating with the police investigation. Meanwhile, the company is offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a group that hacked the site.
Toronto Police announced the reward at Monday’s press conference.
The hackers who took credit for the break-in have accused the website's owners of deceit and incompetence and said the company refused to bow to their demands to close the site.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.