Toronto: In wake of the hacking of the extra-marital dating website Ashley Madison, two people are reported to have committed suicide, a Texas police officer being one of them, reports said Tuesday.
After hackers named The Impact Team broke into the website, stealing the details of millions of accounts, the data leak has triggered a series of "spin-offs of crimes and further victimisation", acting staff superintendent Bryce Evans of the Toronto police said.
Though they spoke about the two suicides, the police did not release further details of the victims.
However, according to a news site 9news.com.au, a Texan cop, Captain Michael Gorhum of the San Antonio Police department, was one of those who committed suicide after hackers released their personal account information, alongside more than 33 million other users of the online adultery service.
Another person to have taken his live is said to be an unidentified Chicago man.
The company behind Ashley Madison is offering a $500,000 Canadian (US $378,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of members of a group that hacked the site.
Hackers last week released detailed records on millions of people registered with the website, a month after a break-in at Ashley Madison's parent company, Toronto-based Avid Life Media Inc. The website, whose slogan is, "Life is short. Have an affair," is marketed to facilitate extramarital affairs.
Toronto Police acting staff Superintendent Bryce Evans said the hack is having an "enormous social and economic fallout."
"This hack is one of the largest data breaches in the world," Evans said. "This is affecting all of us. The social impact behind this leak, we're talking about families, we're talking about children, we're talking about wives, their male partners."
The hackers who took responsibility for the break-in had accused the website's owners of deceit and incompetence, and said the company refused to bow to their demands to close the site. The hackers referred to themselves as the Impact Team.
Evans said there are confirmed cases of criminals attempting to extort Ashley Madison clients by threatening to expose them unless payment is received.
Evans addressed the hackers directly, saying their actions are "illegal and will not be tolerated."
"This is your wake-up call," he said.
With Agency Inputs