State police said Friday that they are checking the security of the agency’s computer system after an attack by hackers and they are investigating to determine the extent of the infiltration.

The Lulz Security hacking collective claimed on Thursday that it successfully accessed the Arizona Department of Public Safety computer system and took data including sensitive case files and the phone numbers and addresses of some officers.

Many of the files LulzSec posted online were innocuous and included invitations to conferences and even some inspirational messages. Others focused on the activity and habits of drug cartels and threats to homeland security, and many came from the Department of Homeland Security.

In one DHS assessment, the federal agency said drug trafficking and associated violence “represent the greatest threat to U.S. border security emanating from Sonora,” referring to the Mexican state that borders Arizona. In another, the agency writes how terrorists can obtain acquire common chemicals to fashion homemade explosives.

So far, only seven out of DPS’ 1,700 employees have had their email accounts compromised and their personal information seized by the group of hackers, an agency spokesman said.

“We’re concerned that somebody was able to get that far,” DPS Capt. Steve Harrison said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press. “We don’t consider it so severe that it’s going to compromise future investigations.”

Harrison said it doesn’t appear the hackers accessed DPS’ main server, but they may have gained entry to a computer that officers use to log onto email accounts and download whatever information was on that server’s hard drive.

Some of the data the hackers may have obtained is information that DPS doesn’t want to fall into the hands of drug traffickers and other criminals, Harrison said.

“It could be how drug trafficking organizations work, drug concealment methods — things that we wouldn’t necessarily want drug traffickers to know that we know,” he said.

State police notified other police agencies after the attack occurred, urging them to apply security measures and protocols to check and secure computer systems in case LulzSec attempted to access other police computer systems in Arizona.

DPS has not received any reports of other police computer systems being compromised, Harrison said.

A spokesman for the Phoenix office of the FBI says the agency was aware of the computer hacking situation at DPS.

“At this time we’re not confirming or denying that we’re involved in the investigation,” said agent Manuel Johnson, an FBI spokesman.

The head of the state police union said it is alarmed by the computer attack.

“We understand that some of the information that they have obtained could compromise the safety of our officers,” said Jimmy Chavez, president of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association.

The cyber attackers said they were specifically targeting DPS because of the state’s tough immigration enforcement law known as SB1070 “and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona.”

The LulzSec group also said it planned to release “more classified documents and embarrassing personal details of military and law enforcement” every week, but it was unclear whether other Arizona agencies were targeted.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said he was not immediately able to identify specific crimes involved with LulzSec’s hack, but the group’s actions could be prosecuted under either state or federal statutes.

Possible prosecution would have to wait “until DPS finds somebody to prosecute,” Horne said.

 

Associated Press writers Amanda Lee Myers and Paul Davenport in Phoenix, and Raphael G. Satter in London contributed to this report.

More Coverage

Ariz. lawmaker expresses outrage at hacking of DPS

Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin is expressing outrage that a group hacked into the state Department of Public Safety’s computer system and is posting hundreds of files online.

The disclosures include names, phone numbers and addresses of some officers.

Tobin says the action puts officers and their families at risk. And he says he’s particularly troubled that the hacking is said to be a response to Arizona’s enactment of SB1070, a 2010 law on illegal immigration enforcement.

The Paulden Republican says the group should be prosecuted to the full extent possible.

He also says lawmakers will consider whether additional steps are needed to hold those responsible accountable if the disclosures result in harm to officers and their families.

(3) comments

lunuxx
lunuxx

this article is garbage - the AG wants to prosecute now because the details that were leaked make them look extremely bad rightfully so.
This leak has names, addresses, phone
numbers, passwords, social security numbers, online dating account info,
voicemails, chat logs, and seductive girlfriend pictures belonging to a dozen
Arizona police officers. We found more internal police reports, cops forwarding
rasist chain emails, k9 drug unit cops who use percocets, and a convicted s3x offender who was part of FOP Maricopa Lodge Five.

We also hit the AZDPS spokesperson Stephen Harrison who been bragging to the
news about how they are upgrading their security and how they will catch the
evil hackers who exposed them. Clearly not secure enough, because we owned his
personal hotmail, facebook and match.com accounts and dumped all his personal
details for the world to see. The same fate will meet anyone else who tries to
paint us as terrorists in an Orwellian attempt to pass more pro-censorship or
racial-profiling police state laws.

We also found details of Jeff Wilson, a former DPS officer and member of a
Navajo tribe, planning on suing the department for racial discrimination
charges. Amongst the civil rights violations occuring in AZDPS, Sgt. Jeff
Eavenson and others were illegally issuing tickets to Navajos in AZ state court
jurisdiction instead of tribal courts. When Jeff Wilson brought these charges up
to the department, they punished him and pushed him out of the police force. We
welcome Wilson's attempts to expose his racist administrators and so we won't we
releasing his info.

Yes we're aware that putting the pigs on blast puts risks their safety, those
poor defenseless police officers who lock people up for decades, who get away
with brutality and torture, who discriminate against people of color, who make
and break their own laws as they see fit. We are making sure they experience
just a taste of the same kind of violence and terror they dish out on an every
day basis. Our advice to you is to quit while you still can and turn on your
commanding officers before you end up in our cross hairs next, because we're not
stopping until every prisoner is freed and every prison is burned to the ground.

To other hackers: it's time to set aside our differences and join the antisec
popular front against the corrupt governments, corporations, militaries, and law
enforcement of the world. We promise you much more bounty to come guaranteed to
bring smiles to the faces of all those who have hated the police. Unite and
fight, for the flames of revolution burn bright!

lunuxx
lunuxx

i had to remove s3x from s3x offender because it is profane>?

lunuxx
lunuxx

they should be prosecuting officers now not lulzsec

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