advertisement
advertisement

Report: ‘Highly sensitive’ police department data hacked for a WikiLeaks-style website

The data reportedly includes financial information, as well as personal data about people who had dealings with the police.

Report: ‘Highly sensitive’ police department data hacked for a WikiLeaks-style website
[Photo: Alec Favale/Unsplash]

A large trove of data from hundreds of police organizations was leaked online last week, digital security journalist Brian Krebs reported Monday.

advertisement

The cache of files was dubbed BlueLeaks by Distributed Denial of Secrets, a WikiLeaks-style organization that posted the data online, saying it “provides unique insights into law enforcement.” The group claims the cache includes data from police departments, fusion centers that coordinate between law enforcement organizations, and other police groups.

DDoSecrets cofounder Emma Best told Wired that the group worked to pull out sensitive data about crime victims, children, and unrelated organizations. An internal alert from the National Fusion Center Association quoted by Krebs claims that the data does include “personally identifiable information (PII) and images of suspects” as well as “highly sensitive information such as ACH routing numbers, international bank account numbers (IBANs), and other financial data.” An index page posted by DDoSecrets highlights IBANs, which are a standardized form of bank account number often used for international funds transfers, included in the data trove.

The National Fusion Center Association did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fast Company.

It will likely take time for journalists and independent analysts to determine whether the dataset, which was released on Juneteeth, contains material informative for the national debate about the role of police and police brutality.

It’s not totally clear where the data originated: Krebs reports that the fusion center group claims the leak came from a Houston web development company, but Wired reported that Best declined to confirm that. The company did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fast Company and declined to comment to Krebs.

advertisement
advertisement

About the author

Steven Melendez is an independent journalist living in New Orleans.

More

All week you can attend Innovation Festival keynotes with Robert Downey Jr., Malala Yousafzai, Chip and Joanna Gaines, Janelle Monáe, and more. Claim your free pass now.