It appears that the first suicide in relation to the Ashley Madison hacking has potentially occurred. With plenty of suicidal threats that ran rampant even prior to the huge release of Ashley Madison names, to hear near confirmation that a person actually killed himself due to appearing on the Ashley Madison leaked list of names is jarring.
According to My San Antonio, three city of San Antonio email addresses — which all used the @sanantonio.gov extension — were discovered on the hacked list of Ashley Madison names. Two of those leaked email addresses belonged to law enforcement officials — one of whom is a San Antonio Police Department detective and the other is reportedly a captain, according to the publication. The third San Antonio email address was linked to an employee who previously worked for the city.
It was one of those employees who killed himself on Thursday — although it hasn’t been confirmed that his suicidal death was directly related to the Ashley Madison leak. The timing of his death in relation to the big Ashley Madison leak, along with previous threats of suicide from Ashley Madison hack victims makes the public wonder if the suicide is linked to the hack. San Antonio city officials wouldn’t yet confirm if the three employees knew they were exposed via the leak — however, with Ashley Madison news on every TV station and in plenty of news articles online, chances are they might have used one of the search engines online to discover their exposure. Or, with folks dumping nearly 700 names of Ashley Madison users online, or exposing them via Twitter accounts and other means, it’s likely the employees know they’ve been exposed.
“One of the employees committed suicide Thursday, though it wasn’t clear Friday whether his death had anything to do with the leak.”
The reality of just how deeply the Ashley Madison exposure is affecting or threatens to affect marriages, families and more is settling in with news of this suicide. In such drastic instances, Ashley Madison hack victims who feel suicidal are urged to call (800) 273-8255, which is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. They can also visit the suicide prevention lifeline website for help.
Meanwhile, Ashley Madison users are reporting blackmail and extortion attempts from those seeking Bitcoin income — one person suggested a hacked Ashley Madison user pay approximately $450 in United States dollars — not to have their Ashley Madison involvement exposed to their significant other.
Certain Ashley Madison users are explaining why they turned to the website in the first place, such as the man who told the Daily Mail that he became a user after his wife put on weight. Others, however, are reeling over the thought of being widely exposed in the Ashley Madison list of names — either to their employers, spouses, neighbors, or the public at large — and they want to know how to get off the tarnished list of users.
As such, a plethora of online resources or lone wolves are popping up, promising Ashley Madison users they can remove their data from online leaks. At best, such services can try and trace down instances of Ashley Madison leaked user names online wherever they appear — but that’s a moving target. Or, reputation management firms can try and push down those results in Google’s search engine by trying to place more positive press about a person’s name higher in the search engine results. At worst, those offering to wipe names clean from all Ashley Madison lists of names online are scammers seeing a quick buck.
[Getting Images/Phillippe Lopez]