Thousands of police and federal agents across the country are in jeopardy after hackers released private information online.
According to a report from Tech Crunch, criminal computer hackers managed to gain entry into several FBI websites and then published their contents to the Internet. Tech Crunch noted that, “The spreadsheets contained about 4,000 unique records after duplicates were removed, including member names, a mix of personal and government email addresses, job titles, phone numbers and their postal addresses.”
Their overall goal? “Experience and money.”
So now, because of this attempt at a money grab, thousands of peace officers now find themselves at risk of being personally targeted. And those looking to commit violence against police are now armed to the teeth with information.
If you know a lot of cops, you probably also know that they usually don’t go around yelling about how they’re a cop. They don’t usually plaster their civilian vehicles with Thin Blue Line flags or other identifiers.
In fear of being targeted.
It’s sad, because we used to be proud to be officers. We used to be proud to stand and say that we were called to serve. Many still are, but now, with the incitement of violence against fellow officers, pride has diminished.
Doxxing has become a fairly common practice over the last few years. To ‘doxx’ someone is to make their identity known online, often leading to personal attacks against the subject.
Hackers have leaked personal information on the FBI, police officers, Secret Service and other federal employees after a #breach of three websites associated with the #FBI National Academy. via @SCMagazine https://t.co/eOYLpIEjM6 #cybersecurity pic.twitter.com/qp7oxz96Yl
— SonicWall (@SonicWall) April 16, 2019
The most notable case of doxxing came when alt-right supporters found themselves out of a job and facing public backlash when social media users pieced together video and pictures during the ‘Unite the Right’ march in Charlottesville last year. Users released these people’s personal information on platforms like Twitter. While ousting negative entities is not necessarily a bad thing, this behavior has led to actual attacks and violence.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 13, 2017
Tech Crunch reportedly was able to speak with the hackers through an encrypted chat service. “We hacked more than 1,000 sites,” said the hacker. “Now we are structuring all the data, and soon they will be sold. I think something else will publish from the list of hacked government sites.”
When asked if they thought the release of private information would put law enforcement officers and government officials at risk, the hackers replied, “Probably, yes.”
Officials are scrambling to get the information pulled down from public sites, aiming to protect officers named in the breach.
The FBINAA released a statement, saying, “We believe we have identified the three affected Chapters that have been hacked and they are currently working on checking the breach with their data security authorities.”