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Twitter Permanently Bans Account Behind Massive FBI Leak

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 24 Jun 2020 18:46
TwitterTwitterPA Images/FBI

Twitter has permanently banned the account behind a huge FBI documentation leak.

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The leak by the account named Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets) released 269GB of data in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd.

The release of the data, which took place on Friday, June 19  – a day celebrated in the US as Juneteenth – saw thousands of documents under the name ‘BlueLeaks’ released, almost 3,000 of them marked with the phrase ‘TOP SECRET’.

Prior to the leak, the account had tweeted in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, but its account has now been suspended.

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DDoSecrets co-founder Emma Best spoke to Wired prior to the group’s account being suspended.

She said:

It’s the largest published hack of American law enforcement agencies. It provides the closest inside look at the state, local, and federal agencies tasked with protecting the public, including [the] government response to COVID and the BLM protests.

Best also told Wired the hacked information came from controversial hacktivist group Anonymous.

The data is thought to have been collected following a breach of a web services company in Houston, Texas, which counts a number of law enforcement agencies as customers, Sky News reports.

BlueLeaksBlueLeaksSky News/BlueLeaks

Speaking to Sky News, the DDoSecrets account insisted the information it released ‘wasn’t stored on a system cleared for classified information’.

The archive released consists of over ten years of data from over 200 police departments, fusion centres and other law enforcement training and support resources, Computer Business Review reports. There were apparently 6,500 documents mentioning George Floyd.

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The leak has had a mixed reception, with some applauding it, while the likes of founder and CEO of web security company ImmuniWeb Ilia Kolochenko said it will have ‘disastrous effects’.

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He said:

The eventual outcome of this leak will likely have disastrous effects for many innocent people. First, it will likely inflict irreparable reputational, financial and even physical harm to suspects and people charged with crimes who later were acquitted in a court of law.

The underlying motives of the publication are obscure for the time being […] Given the surrounding technical circumstances of the leak, it may be reasonable to suppose that the perpetrators have left numerous traces and digital footprints while exfiltrating the data and publishing it online.

From a technical standpoint, it is a painful reminder that third-party security is essential to protect your organisation from cyber threats in 2020.

Meanwhile, DDoSecrets co-founder Best said, ‘I’m pleased with what we did and that we continue to learn.’

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: News, Distributed Denial of Secrets, FBI, Hack, leak, Now, Technology, Twitter, US News

Credits

Computer Business Review and 2 others
  1. Computer Business Review

    Huge Data Dump of Police Files Dubbed “Blue Leaks” Leaked Online

  2. Sky News

    Twitter bans account which leaked FBI and police documents

  3. Wired

    Hack Brief: Anonymous Stole and Leaked a Megatrove of Police Documents