Thousands of U.S. police documents were leaked to the public in what’s being called “BlueLeaks” on Juneteenth.
The data is hosted by the group Distributed Denial of Secrets, a transparency collective in the style of Wikileaks, although also DDoSecrets credited the infamous hacker collective Anonymous with finding the data.
DDoSecrets said on Twitter that BlueLeaks includes ten years of data for over 200 different types of law enforcement agencies.
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.https://t.co/sWzdKc2VFc
— Distributed Denial of Secrets (@DDoSecrets) June 19, 2020
Combing through just some of the hundreds of gigabytes of data, it seems that some documents are unclassified, but the database also includes arrest records and guides for how terrorist groups were using social media to communicate.
According to the security blog Krebs on Security, one of the first to report the leak, the National Fusion Center Association confirmed the validity of the data and suggested that some files might stretch back more than 10 years. Some of the data could contain “highly sensitive information,” including bank account routing information, suspect images, and other personally identifiable information, Krebs on Security reported.
Fusion centers are offices that are responsible for disseminating relevant law enforcement and public safety information to necessary actors — like Interpol but just for the U.S.
Mike Riemer, a former Department of Defense employee and currently the Global Chief Security Architect for cybersecurity company PulseSecure, told Digital Trends that it is not uncommon for government entities to have a lower level of security on their systems.
“Budgetary constraints stop them from going to full-blown security solutions,” Riemer said. “They’re often working with legacy systems and don’t have the resources to patch them 24/7. So you have an easy target, and hackers have a tendency to look for these. Governments need to take a serious look at how they’re storing data and who has access to it.”
The hack comes amid widespread protests against police brutality and racism following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.