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FBI Warns Law Enforcement Officials to Protect Personal Info

By    |   Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 05:26 PM

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning law enforcement officers to take steps to avoid having their personal information, or that of their families, posted online by Internet-hacking protest groups in retaliation for the deaths of suspects.

On April 21, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center warned the nation's police, "Officers and public officials should be aware of their online presence and exposure. For example, posting images wearing uniforms displaying name tags or listing their police department on social media sites can increase an officer's risk of being targeted or attacked." 

The alert, the Washington Free Beacon notes, comes as hacker collectives such as "Anonymous" and others have begun digging up and posting personal information about law enforcement officers and their families in a technique known as "doxing."

"Anonymous" posted a warning on its Twitter site stating, "Police officers of America we are watching you. Everyone is watching you. We suggest you stop murdering people in your custody," the Free Beacon notes, and claims it has hacked into police department computers.

Angered at the death of Phillip White while in police custody in Vineland, New Jersey, a group calling itself Lulz Saints threatened to reveal the names of the police officers involved, and then made good on their threat, The Press of Atlantic City reported.

The FBI release states, "Recent activity suggests family members of law enforcement personnel and public officials are also at risk for cyber attacks and 'doxing' activity.

Targeted information may include personally identifiable information and public information and pictures from social media web sites."

It advises police to not have photos of themselves in uniform posted online, increase security settings on all social media sites in their home computers, limit any posting on social media sites, restrict access to their driver's license and registration in their local departments of motor vehicles, restrict access to their real estate and property listings, update all their antivirus software and be careful when opening personal emails with attachments.

The release also advises doubling security settings on personal email accounts, monitoring banking and credit accounts carefully, using password phrases of 15 characters that are changed frequently and being leery of phone calls which may be attempts at "phishing," or gathering personal information that can be used in a hacking attack.

The FBI also recently has put out warnings to airlines advising them to be on the alert for attempts to hack into airplane systems by passengers, and warned public officials to protect their home computers against hacking, The Hill reports. 

FBI Spokeswoman Carol Cratty declined to say whether "Anonymous" was the cause of the alert, and told the Free Beacon, "The FBI periodically sends out these types of advisories as a service to our law enforcement and private sector partners."

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning law enforcement officers to take steps to avoid having their personal information, or that of their families, posted online by Internet-hacking protest groups in retaliation for the deaths of suspects.
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2015-26-23
Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 05:26 PM
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