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Hackers group posts police chiefs' information online

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking for the people responsible for leaking the home addresses, home phone numbers and cellphone numbers of every police chief in West Virginia, according to the president of a statewide police chiefs organization. 

William Roper, president of the West Virginia Chiefs of Police Association, said his organization's website was compromised Monday by a group associated with Anonymous, an international hacker group with a stated mission of protecting free speech and fighting anti-piracy laws.

The subgroup, which calls itself "CabinCr3w," posted the personal information of more than 156 police officers, including current and retired police chiefs, to a public website.

The information was announced on Twitter, directing users to a website with a banner message warning that "police departments across the United States [have] become more militrarized [sic] and weaponized at our expense."

"We are here to remind you that we the taxpayers pay your exorbitant salaries, and those salaries of your officers. Your job is to protect and serve, not brutalize the very people that pay your wages," CabinCr3w's message reads. "Muzzle your dogs of war, or we will expose more of your sensative [sic] information."

Roper, who is also the Ranson chief of police, said he has been in contact with the FBI since Monday morning about its investigation.

He said the hackers gained only "very basic information" pertaining to the association's members contact information and the association's meeting minutes.

The association has a new website and the hackers gained the information from the old website, he said.

Phone numbers and addresses are kept on the website's database and are used by members to get in contact with each other, he said.

"It's a tragedy someone was able to hack our website and obtain information that is useful to our members," he said.

The hackers also posted the e-mail addresses and usernames of the association's members. However, they were not able to gain access to the members' passwords, Roper said.

The group posted apparent passwords for each of the association's members, but they did not work Tuesday night.

Roper said he contacted his organization's members Monday to inform them of the leak.

"We also pointed it out to all law enforcement statewide saying, 'this has occurred' and seeing if they are able to find any information [about the hackers] themselves," he said.

Roper said he's been in contact with the West Virginia Office of Technology to prevent further hacking.

"We are going to make sure they add all the security stuff we need to," he said.

According to West Virginia law, it is a crime for any person who "knowingly and willfully, directly or indirectly, accesses any computer, computer services or computer network for the purpose of executing any scheme or to defraud."

If arrested, the hackers face a felony conviction carrying up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Earlier this month, CabinCr3w posted to its Twitter account that it is launching a campaign to expose the personal information from police agencies across the country called "Operation Pig Roast."

The group claimed responsibility for posting the personal information of New York police officers who arrested Occupy Wall Street protesters.

According to national news media reports, the same group took responsibility for hacking the Police Executive Research Forum, a private organization with ties to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In October, the group apparently posted the private information of Goldman Sachs executive Robert Rubin and his family.

The group aligns itself with Anonymous, an FBI-monitored "hacktivist" group with an unknown number of members and capabilities.

Anonymous is most famous for hacking and releasing personal information of Sony PlayStation customers and leaking confidential documents from Bank of America.

Anonymous also led attacks against the White House for its response to the WikiLeaks scandal and the arrest of Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army soldier who released confidential diplomatic cables and video footage of airstrikes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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