Arizona authorities have confirmed a third attack against police officers in the state by computer hackers who say they are striking out in part in retaliation against an immigration law that has sparked a national controversy.
The latest hacking was revealed Thursday night after a group calling itself AntiSec issued a news release saying it was defacing eight Arizona Fraternal Order of Police websites, and releasing a master list of more than 1,200 officer’s usernames, passwords and email addresses.
This is the second breach of Arizona law enforcement data that the group is claiming in as many days. AntiSec said in an online posting Wednesday that it exposed information including “names, addresses, phone numbers, passwords, social security numbers, online dating account info, voicemails, chat logs, and seductive girlfriend pictures.”
And an attack last week by a group calling itself Lulz Security targeted Arizona Department of Public Safety officer’s email accounts.
The hackers said the Thursday attack was a strike against Arizona’s heavily-scrutinized immigration policy, known as SB1070, which requires police in the course of enforcing other laws to use “reasonable suspicion” as a basis for checking a person’s immigration status.
The hackers also say they want a world free from police, prisons and politicians.
The state Fraternal Order of Police said steps are being taken to find those responsible for hacking into their site.
“The FOP is already cooperating fully with every law enforcement body that is currently investigating this,” said David Leibowitz, FOP spokesman, in an interview Friday with The Associated Press.
“Obviously we’re taking steps internally to make sure the information is protected,” Leibowitz said.
Also, the police organization said in a statement that it will not be intimidated by the cyber-attack.
Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Capt. Steve Harrison said Friday that some state law enforcement officers are members of the Fraternal Order of Police, but the latest computer attack was not limited to his agency’s employees.
Harrison told the AP that it is too early to tell how many DPS officers have had their personal information compromised.
Agency officials added they are unable to say for certain that AntiSec was actually the group that infiltrated the computer system.
The most recent attacks are similar to a breach last week by the hacking collective Lulz Security.
Many of the files posted online in the LulzSec attack included invitations to conferences and inspirational messages. Others focused on the activity and habits of drug cartels and homeland security threats.
Those officers had access to their accounts through remote hookups. That practice has now stopped and no access is allowed from outside a secure agency network, Harrison said.
There is no evidence that the Department of Public Safety main servers — which can access criminal files, driver’s license information and vehicle registration records — have been compromised, Harrison said.
The cyber attackers calling themselves AntiSec said they were specifically targeting the department because of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law “and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona.”
For its part, LulzSec has previously taken credit for hacking into Sony Corp. — where more than 100 million user accounts were compromised — and defacing the PBS website, as well as a cyber-attack aimed at the CIA website and the U.S. Senate’s computer system.