The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Canadian police forces have joined the probe into the data breach of AshleyMadison.com, the extra-marital affairs dating website, the company said in a statement Tuesday. The move comes hours after the hackers, known as The Impact Team, posted a massive cache of data on the Internet, including email addresses, credit card details and protected passwords of customers.
Avid Life Media, which owns the website, said in the statement that the hack was being investigated by three Canadian police forces -- the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Toronto Police Services -- and the FBI.
"These are illegitimate acts that have real consequences for innocent citizens who are simply going about their daily lives. ... We are actively monitoring and investigating this situation to determine the validity of any information posted online and will continue to devote significant resources to this effort," the company said in the statement, posted on AshleyMadison.com.
The company also said that the culprits behind the move call themselves "the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society."
"We will not sit idly by and allow these thieves to force their personal ideology on citizens around the world," the Toronto-based company said.
Earlier Tuesday, hackers had posted 10 gigabytes of data from the website on the dark Web, which can be only accessed through a Tor browser. The data dump follows last month's online leak of snippets of compromising conversations of the dating site's customers, and a further threat by the hackers to leak the names and details of the clients of AshleyMadison.com as well as EstablishedMen.com, another website owned by Avid Life.
"Find someone you know in here?" the hackers reportedly said in a note after the data breach, adding: "Chances are your man signed up on the world’s biggest affair site, but never had one. He just tried to. If that distinction matters."