The largest police union in the United States, The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), was hacked last week, exposing names and addresses of police officers. A series of forum posts critical of President Obama, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor and illegal immigrants was also uncovered. The hack occurred on Thursday and by Friday afternoon the FOP’s website was offline.
FOP describes itself as, “the world’s largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 325,000 members in more than 2,100 lodges.” FOP national president Chuck Canterbury posted a statement on Facebook which says: “We have learned today that our data system has been hacked by the Group known as Anonymous.” Canterbury also said that the attack “appears to have originated outside of the United States.” While news of the hack was first spread throughout the Anonymous collective, no Anonymous faction has actually taken credit for the hack. Motherboard reports that, “it’s unclear why Canterbury attributed the hack to Anonymous. There is nothing in the dump that suggests someone acting under the Anonymous umbrella was involved.”
The data dump itself is being hosted by Thomas White (@CthulhuSec on Twitter). According to Motherboard, “White has previously mirrored the leaks from Italian surveillance company Hacking Team; the huge wads of data stolen extra-marital affairs site Ashley Madison, and customer details from crowd-funding site Patreon.”
As for White’s motivation for the release, the following statement, in part, was posted on his website:
“We do not wish to dictate to the media how the information may be useful. I was told it should be released on the grounds the information is within the scope of public interest, in light of an ever increasing divide between the police groups and the citizens of the US. As such, we do not wish to guide the media in how to report on this. My role in this is to ensure the information is accessible to all so that a proper analysis may be done by both established media outlets and individual investigators who wish to expose any wrongdoing.”
As to whether or not he is anti-police:
“No. I believe the police should have corruption exposed as all other places should also have wrongdoing exposed when they are in a public office. However, the information should not be used to attack the police; it should be used to help them address their problems and correct them. A society cannot be at peace when the citizens and the enforcers of the law are at war. Instead, it is the duty of every citizen to support their democratic society, even if in the short term it may seem like you are attacking them.”
White also expressed a willingness to answer any questions the authorities investigating the case may have, offering this:
“I understand you are investigating the case. You are free to email me at any point with any questions you may have and we can arrange a time to talk in a civil manner if you desire, but the meeting is to take place within the UK, as I am a UK citizen. Furthermore, as I am liberty to post the data, I advise against seeking any kind of revenge action as it will be quite fruitless. I have removed all traces back to the source and so investigating me will not lead back to whomever carried out the attack. Furthermore, due to the confidentiality I owe my source, I will not be revealing him/her or any further details of our connection or conversation either.”
White also tweeted screenshots of threatening emails he has received since making the data dump public.