Hacktivist groups and transparency advocates have published a huge trove of data allegedly stolen from over 200 police departments, fusion centers, and other law enforcement agencies across the United States.
The exposed data dubbed BlueLeaks was leaked by the DDoSecrets group and it includes thousands of sensitive documents from the past ten years containing official and personal information.
DDoSecrets, or Distributed Denial of Secrets, is a transparency collective that is similar to WikiLeaks and it publicly publishes data and classified information submitted by hackers while claiming the organization itself never gets involved in the exfiltration of data.
The BlueLeaks dump of 296 GB of data includes police and FBI reports, bulletins, guides and much more that provides insights into law enforcement and a wide array of government activities, including thousands of documents mentioning COVID19.
An analysis of the BlueLeaks dump shows that the data contains more than millions of files including images, documents, videos, web pages, text files, emails, audio files etc. However, it is not yet specified how many files are classified and are not supposed to be public.
Some alerts and guides leaked in BlueLeaks also contained intelligence on the protests, including the recent countrywide Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.
Some of the U.S. agencies listed in BlueLeaks are:
- Alabama Fusion Center
- Austin Regional Intelligence Center
- Boston Regional Intelligence Center
- Colorado Information Analysis Center
- California Narcotic Officers’ Association
- Delaware Information and Analysis Center
- FBI Houston Citizens Academy Alumni Association
- FBI National Academy Association Arkansas/Missouri Chapter
- FBI National Academy Association Michigan Chapter
- FBI National Academy Association of Texas
According to security blogger, Krebs, this massive data appears to have been from a security breach at Houston-based web hosting company ‘Netsential Inc,’ where the webserver for National Fusion Center Association (NFCA) is hosted.
Fusion centers are information centers that allows intelligence sharing between local, state, tribal, territorial law enforcement and federal agencies, maximizing their ability to detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to criminal and terrorist activities.
NFCA stated that the dates of the files in the leak span around 24 years — from August 1996 through June 19, 2020 — and that the documents include names, email addresses, phone numbers, PDF documents, images, and a large number of texts, video, CSV and ZIP files.
Netsential confirmed that a hacker had leveraged a compromised Netsential customer user account and the web platform’s upload feature and exfiltrated other Netsential customer data, including several U.S. police agencies, including Fusion Centers.