[BreachExchange] 'Distributed Denial of Secrets' publishes 'Blue Leaks, ' a trove of law enforcement records

Destry Winant destry at riskbasedsecurity.com
Tue Jun 23 10:31:24 EDT 2020


An anonymous hacktivist group says it’s published a trove of sensitive
law enforcement data that originated with hundreds of police
departments in an apparent effort to expose police abuses amid ongoing
demonstrations through the U.S.

The “Distributed Denial of Secrets” group marked Juneteenth, the June
19 holiday marking the end of slavery in the U.S., by publishing a
searchable database containing 269 GB of data apparently stolen from
more than 200 law enforcement agencies. The database, which the group
has named “Blue Leaks,” appears to contain police training materials,
police safety guidelines and protest containment strategies.

The files also may contain names, email addresses, phone numbers and a
large number of text and video files, according to a June 20 alert
from the National Fusion Center Association obtained by security
journalist Brian Krebs.

The association reported that the data surfaced following an apparent
breach at Netsential, a Houston-based web development firm. The
company reportedly provides IT services to law enforcement “fusion
centers,” which serve as information sharing hubs for state and local
police organizations.

The timing of the disclosure coincides with the killing of George
Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other unarmed Black Americans. Those
killings have lead to enhanced scrutiny and public outcry over U.S.
policing tactics. Other hacktivist groups, such as Anonymous
offshoots, have threatened to publish damaging information about
police in the U.S., though in at least one case the apparently leaked
datacould be tied to prior known breaches.

The Distributed Denial of Secrets disclosure appears to be more
legitimate. The group presents itself as an alternative to WikiLeaks,
claiming that it will publish hacked information without bias or
encouraging the theft of data.

The @DDoSecrets Twitter account quickly gained tens of thousands of
followers as it promoted disclosures reporting that white supremacists
had posed as members of the Antifa movement to encourage violence
during Black Lives Matter protests, and as it advertised gigabytes of
information stolen from fusion centers in Texas, Florida, Colorado and

A leading figure is Emma Best, a journalist and activist who
previously has published revelations about Anonymous. During an
interview with the Columbia Journalism Review in 2019, Best described
the group’s mission is to “make the information available, and to
prevent it from disappearing.”

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