Government (U.S.) // Nonprofit // United States
A hack at the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has been 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,” said Chuck Canterbury, the FOP’s national president.
Confidential files, including the names and addresses of officers, forum posts critical of President Obama, and controversial contracts made with city authorities, were published online on Jan. 28 after a hacker breached the organization’s website.
In all, 2.5GB of data was taken from FOP’s servers, dumped online and swiftly shared on social media.
FOP servers in Tennessee and Ohio are being examined.
In an online posting, a person using the screen name Cthulhu said he or she had released the files after receiving them from a source who wished to remain anonymous and wanted them made public “in light of an ever increasing divide between the police groups and the citizens of the US.”
In a statement to the Guardian, Cthulhu added: “Our role is simply to present the material in an unadulterated form for the public to analyse.”
FOP officials are taking steps to try notifying members.
Threads from the organization’s restricted online forum were leaked.
A 2010 post by Robert Schafer from Virginia described Obama as an “antipolice, antilaw and order President.” In 2009, Donald Hartman of Indiana condemned the FOP leadership for endorsing the nomination of the “radical socialist” Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor. Anthony Orlando of Tennessee suggested the FOP leadership “follow her lead, step down and give their seats to a minority or smart latina.”
Canterbury blamed “anti-police rhetoric” for the hack.
In the posting, Cthulhu denied being “anti-police.” Cthulhu also claimed to be holding back 18 terabytes of police data. Canterbury said that nowhere near that much information was in the FOP systems.
Hundreds of contracts between regional authorities and local FOP lodges were posted online. Some such deals have been likened to shielding police officers from prosecution or disciplinary action following use of excessive force.