$377k Ashley Madison hack bounty amid suspected suicide link

The hackers behind the huge Ashley Madison leak now have a bounty on their heads, with the company behind the affairs dating site announcing a CA$500,000 reward for catching them. Avid Life Media announced the half-million fund – approximately $377k – this morning in Toronto, promising a big cash jackpot for anybody who can provide information that leads to a successful arrest and prosecution. The offer comes amid unconfirmed reports that two suicides have been linked to the embarrassing leak.

Hacking group The Impact Team has taken responsibility for the data theft, which saw details from more than 33m accounts taken from Ashley Madison's servers.

The site bills itself as "the most famous name in infidelity and married dating" and promised discrete profiles for married people to meet up outside of their current relationship. Although browsing the site is free, contacting other members requires signing up with a credit card.

Toronto police's acting staff superintendent Bryce Evans confirmed that credit card details were indeed among the data stolen by the hackers. According to the investigators, that includes the last four digits of cards, though Avid Life Media has insisted that the full card information was not saved.

Evans also confirmed the existence of the half-million fund, though there are bigger figures at stake. Avid Life Media is already facing a $578m class-action suit filed by two Canadian firms on behalf of exposed members, while suits in the US have focused on the $19 fee the company charged to oust users' records when they wanted to leave.

The legality of that fee is one of the stated reasons by The Impact Team for targeting Avid Live Media in the first place. The group released the data as evidence that the promises the company made to subscribers were not being carried out.

Along with warning that the leak could lead to phishing attempts and other scams, Evans revealed that the investigation is looking at two suicides which may be related to the exposed data. However, the police insist that so-far that connection is unconfirmed.