Arizona lawmen hit a third time by hackers

Police lobbying group in Arizona is latest targeted by AntiSec group of hackers.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills
2 min read
Arizona Fraternal Order of Police

For the third time in a week, hackers have released information pilfered from compromised online accounts of Arizona law enforcement officers.

Under the "AntiSec" umbrella, the combined Anonymous-LulzSec hacker group is targeting government agencies, financial institutions, and other high-profile targets. AntiSec first released e-mails, phone numbers, passwords, and other information belonging to the Arizona Department of Public Safety on June 23. The hackers said they are targeting the police organization to protest "racial-profiling anti-immigrant" policies, specifically SB1070, which makes it a crime to be in Arizona without documentation proving United States residency.

Earlier this week, AntiSec released information from personal e-mail accounts of officers. And last night, the hackers defaced eight Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Web sites (the FOP sites for Arizona, Phoenix, Mesa, and Tucson were inaccessible today) and released e-mail messages, passwords, and other information for more than 1,200 officers in the Fraternal Order of Police in Arizona. The released documents include anti-Muslim sentiments and derogatory jokes about President Obama.

"We're doing this not only because we are opposed to SB1070 and the racist Arizona police state, but because we want a world free from police, prisons, and politicians altogether," the group said in a statement last night.

Captain Steve Harrison, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, told CNET today that officials suspect that the hackers were able to compromise three different e-mail accounts and systems because officers used the same usernames and passwords on multiple accounts--a big no-no in the security field.

"We're using this as a learning and training tool for ourselves and the public. We need to be more secure in our dealings with the Internet and our own security on duty and off duty," he said. "It's unfortunate that law enforcement officers have to suffer the wrath of these cyberterrorists."

A message left with the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police by CNET was not answered today. However, speaking to The New York Times, John Ortolano, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, disputed the allegation that the organization is racist to and said most of the officers are minorities.