Arizona police organization says LulzSec hacking could compromise officer safety
After having hundreds of in-house documents released by hacker group LulzSec, the personal information of numerous Arizona law enforcement officials has hit the Web, said the Arizona Highway Patrol Assn., which added that the disclosure of the information could compromise officer safety.
The email accounts of eight employees of the Arizona Department of Public Safety were compromised by LulzSec on Thursday, a spokesman for the agency said. The data exposed included phone numbers, addresses and even the name and email address of one employee's wife. Since the data dump, at least one of those affected has changed his phone number, according to a recording that plays after calling the posted cellphone number.
Jimmy Chavez, president of the Arizona Highway Patrol Assn., said law enforcement officials go to great lengths to protect their identities, and his organization is now concerned about what people may do with the published information.
"You never know when someone might take some retaliation," he said.
The leaked files contained various files with the information of "at least a couple dozen" law enforcement officials, said Capt. Steven Harrison, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Affected law enforcement officials were caught in the crossfire on an issue they have no control over, Chavez said. LulzSec said in a statement that it had gone after the Arizona department because it is against SB 1070, Arizona's anti-illegal-immigration law.
"We're obligated to enforce the statutes that are on the book," Chavez said. "For someone, whether its LulzSec or any other organization, to assume that our officers are out there actively racially profiling is absolutely ridiculous."
Many Arizona law enforcement officers were still unaware of the data breach Friday. The Arizona Highway Patrol Assn. spent the day getting out information about the situation to its members.
"Our guys are out there doing what they're supposed to be doing, and they put themselves in harm's way every single day," Chavez said. "They don't need any additional pressure on them from a -- let's just call it what it is -- a terrorist organization."
-- Salvador Rodriguez
Image: Border Patrol agents talk on their phones as an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer leaves the frontage road along Interstate 8 in Gila Bend, Ariz., on May 12, hours after a train and Border Patrol vehicle collided in the early morning hours. Credit: Matt York / Associated Press