Hackers Post Records of 330,000 Police Union Members
Last Thursday, the country’s largest police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, said it had asked the FBI to investigate a breach that enabled hackers to steal documents which were published online.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Chuck Canterbury, president of FOP, said hackers had managed “a complete breech [sic] of our data,” including bargaining contracts and 2.5GB of other data.
“We have contacted the office of the assistant attorney general in charge of cyber crime, and officials from FBI field offices have already made contact with our staff,” Canterbury said in an interview with The Guardian.
Canterbury also said he was confident no sensitive personal information or financial information had been obtained.
“Some names and addresses were taken,” he said. “It concerns us. We’re taking steps to try to notify our members but that is going to take some time.”
According to security contractors hired by the Fraternal Order of Police to investigate the situation, the hack was traced to an IP address in the UK. “They were able to feed our system a pseudo-encryption key that the system should not have accepted but did because of software errors,” Canterbury said. Servers in Ohio and Tennessee are being examined.
A group with the screen name Cthulhu, a British privacy activist group, said in an online posting that they had released the files after receiving them from an anonymous source. They wanted the information made public “in light of an ever increasing divide between the police groups and the citizens of the US.”
While Canterbury blamed “anti-police rhetoric” for the attack, Cthulhu’s statement said they are not anti-police. They believe that, “the police should have corruption exposed as all other places should also have wrongdoing exposed when they are in a public office. However, the information should not be used to attack the police; it should be used to help them address their problems and correct them.”
Cthulhu claims to be holding back 18 terabytes of additional police data, but Canterbury insists there was not that much information on the FOP systems.