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