An Austrian hackers group has published the names and home addresses of 24,938 police officials sparking fears that many could be targeted by criminals.
Police say the data published by the Austrian branch of the global hacker collective „Anonymous”, known as AnonAustria contained private information for officials ranging from beat officers through to senior commanders.
Police union official Walter Scharinger said today (Mon) that the situation was worrying for officers who might become targets of revenge by criminals they have dealt with before.
The data was published as a searchable database on Twitter. A spokesperson of the Austrian Interior ministry said that the data did not leak from the ministry but from an “association closely related with the police”.
The Austrian branch of the International Police Association (IPA), Austria’s biggest association of police members, customs officers and justice officials is being investigated by the State Office of Criminal Investigation as a result of the leak.
According to Austrian paper “Die Presse” the IPA denied that the data leaked from their side but confirmed that internal investigations were going on. IPA uses an external service provider to manage their members’ accounts.
It is as yet unknown if the leaked data was obtained in a technical attack or by an informer. AnonAustria said via Twitter that the data “had been made accessible” to them.
The AnonAustria hackers had made headlines this summer by attacking the websites of the Austrian political parties SPÖ (Social Democratic Party), FPÖ (Freedom Party), the Green Party and the Austrian state broadcaster ORF’s charging service (GIS)– and publishing personal data in each case as well.