Police investigating the data breach that took place at infidelity website Ashley Madison are asking for hackers to assist them in tracking down those involved. The hackers are being offered a reward close to £250,000.
The ‘Project Unicorn’ police taskforce, including Canadian police and the FBI, asked the hacker and security community to find the individuals who are part of the self-titled ‘Impact Team’ that leaked personal information from approximately 33 million subscribers of the website. Security expert John McAfee believes no such team exists, but suspects instead that it is the work of one former employee with access to the site.
Police have confirmed that the breach has resulted in two suspected suicides, as well as attempts to blackmail people who appear among the leaked names.
Avid Life Media (ALM), who owns the AM website and is offering a £240,000 bounty in a bid to catch the perpetrators, said:
“The Project Unicorn investigation is progressing, but more help is needed from the outside. ALM is offering a C$500,000 reward payment to anyone who provides information to the taskforce that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the theft of proprietary data.”
The Ashley Madison breach is one of the largest in recent times and the bounty being offered by the website highlights the damage that it has caused. It also illustrates the importance of businesses making cyber security jobs available to those with the skills required to thwart such attacks.