Nation Wide Attacks against Law Enforcement

Multiple law enforcement agencies nationwide have become targets of cyber attacks. While some being more successful then others, a majority of these attacks are sure to  be the same group of hackers. It is believed that the hackers are trying to get access to databases that contain law enforcers personal information. That personal information being public could be very dangerous. At this point there isn’t a whole lot of concern, this is not the first time law enforcement agiences have been targeted, and they try to take some precautions to keep there data safe. Dothan Systems Analyst Robb Meredeth said

We try to take our security in layers so that we have multiple layers so if any fail we’re still in good shape

He went on to say how they keep track of attacks:

We monitor success and failures of people trying to get into things. We would go back and start reviewing log-ons and access.

So for now the security of there systems is holding up well enough to keep any important data out of hackers hands. But if these attacks continue its possible they could eventually get some important data they shouldn’t have there hands on. Robb later said

It’s just like being an officer on the street you’re always aware of your surroundings and what’s going on but one thing that I’ve learned in my time with the new technology is that there’s absolutely no sure-fire secure system.

I agree that there’s no secure system, which means its only a matter of time before hackers succeed. Really made me start questioning what type of things the police have on there systems, and how good is the security for local police, they most likely don’t have the same budget for security as the FBI. But just because there budget might not be as high doesn’t mean they don’t have information that could be dangerous if public.

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6 thoughts on “Nation Wide Attacks against Law Enforcement

  1. Like you said, this is a tough one for local police forces. With the economy falling, municipalities are forced to cut back on spending and cut costs wherever they can. There probably isn’t any money to pay to have an IT department that can make their systems as secure as the FBI. Also, it isn’t something that the general public would support as far as police force spending (pumping money into “support” activities rather than hiring more officers for the streets). It will not take long until there is a large, high-profile hack that will cost a municipality (in a law suit). But I guess choosing where to invest resources is one of the tough decisions that police department officials have to make. Which would you pick if you could only pick one person to hire; a police officer or another IT person (be honest)?

    • I think the question about another police officer or another IT person really depends on the town. Personally in the town im from I would say an IT person. I actually built a website for my local police station and I know the people there pretty well. It really scares me to think about how their systems are setup, because everyone there doesn’t seem to be so up to date on technology. But i can see your point, in most places paying more IT workers wouldn’t be the best way to spend their money.

      • Dedicating money to cyber defense is a problem many organizations have. In the book “Secrets and Lies”, Mr. Scheier thought this problem would fix itself once insurance companies get involved. If an organization wanted to buy insurance to off-set the financial cost of break-ins, then the insurance company might charge higher premiums for vulnerable systems. Organizations would get lower premiums if they had more secure systems, and the cyber security industry would come up with standardized solutions (which they could sell to organizations). It will be a whole new industry for future. If Mr. Scheier’s predictions are correct, then the ISF students will have tons of employment opportunities.

  2. It would be interesting to find out what police departments keep in their servers. Also, I wonder if they have any credential leaks to other important systems such as background or fingerprint checks, federal checks, and obviously very specific personal information. Additionally, imagine if someone with malice got a hold of police schedules and plans. That’s dangerous information to know, to answer the guy above me (given these circumstances), I would pick the IT guy with the potential he has. Although I’m sure the budgets are departmental so the IT budget is kept separate from the active duty officers.

    • Type “sophos bart police” into Google and see that the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police got hacked (sophos is that site with the plastic frog). I’m not sure if the passwords were for their e-mail accounts or the police database, but the officers’ home addresses were posted on-line.

      As for the budget, it is all part of the “police department’s budget”. Ultimately, it will be senior police officers who have the last say in the department spending (not IT guys). Hence, officers are usually the positions that are first-filled or last-cut.

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