Police are suggesting that two individuals may have taken their own lives as a result of the Ashley Madison hack. “As of this morning, we have two unconfirmed reports of suicides associated with the leak of Ashley Madison’s customers’ profiles,” said acting Staff Superintendent Bryce Evans of the Toronto police at a news conference this morning. Evans gave no further details on the sex, location, or ages of the individuals, whether they themselves were users, or even where the reports of their deaths were coming from. As of yet, no second official source has confirmed the purported suicides.
The claims follow this month’s announcement that the adultery-focused online dating site had suffered a massive security breach in mid July. Subsequently, those responsible for the hack posted three massive data dumps to online forums—dumps that included the email addresses, profile details, and credit-card numbers of many of Ashley Madison’s possible 40-million clients. Evans used his press conference to warn the public that the hack could lead to “spin-off crimes,” such as credit-card fraud, blackmail, and futher data hacks.
Various sites have made that data searchable, allowing both concerned partners of possible Ashley Madison users and the media at large to find out if individuals have signed up for the service which has—at times—billed itself as the Web’s premiere site for starting an affair. Gawker and other parties have exposed at least two notable Ashley Madison users. Josh Duggar—a reality-television star and family-values advocate most recently in the news following reports that he had molested two of his sisters—is one. Christian-activist vlogger Sam Rader is another.
While many have taken to the Internet to express how the Ashley Madison hack has compromised their relationships or “ruined their lives,” today’s report by the Toronto police marks the first time an official has suggested that the leak has been involved with any sort of death, suicide or otherwise.