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Massive attack on police: 'Blueleaks' hackers release 'hundreds of thousands' of private records on officers


Far over the line

Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Hackers have leaked highly sensitive police files from over 200 police departments across the country, according to a Business Insider report Monday.

All files are reportedly searchable by badge number.

What do we know about this?

Activist group DDoSecrets published what the outlet calls "hundreds of gigabytes' worth of potentially sensitive files" from police departments across the United States. The group has called the information dump "BlueLeaks."

The group compiled the records, disseminating them into a searchable database that can pull up private information from a police badge number. Many of the files include information such as memos, emails, and officers' personal information.

The group shared information on Twitter regarding the data dump.

It wrote, "RELEASE: #BlueLeaks (269 GB) Ten years of data from over 200 police departments, fusion centers and other law enforcement training and support resources. Among the hundreds of thousands of documents are police and FBI reports, bulletins, guides and more."

The outlet reported that much of the information purports to show "how law enforcement agencies have been sharing information about COVID-19, George Floyd protesters, and even tweets critical of the police."

Security reporter Brian Krebs said that the breach took place at a Houston area web services company that "maintains several law-enforcement data centers."

The group, in a Twitter statement, wrote, "DDoSecrets publishes materials submitted by sources, both leakers and hackers. We provide a stable platform for the public to access data and an anonymity shield for sources to share it, but are uninvolved in the exfiltration of data."

What else?

Wired reported Monday that Emma Best, co-founder of the group, said that the hack is the largest of its kind.

"It's the largest published hack of American law enforcement agencies," Best boasted in a text message. "It provides the closest inside look at the state, local, and federal agencies tasked with protecting the public, including [the] government response to COVID and the BLM protests."

Best added that the leak highlights the "underlying attitudes of law enforcement," which trickles down to their policing.

"The underlying attitudes of law enforcement is one of the things I think BlueLeaks documents really well," Best writes. "I've seen a few comments about it being unlikely to uncover gross police misconduct, but I think those somewhat miss the point, or at least equate police misconduct solely with illegal behavior. Part of what a lot of the current protests are about is what police do and have done legally."

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