DALLAS - The hacking group known as 'Anonymous' has published the names, addresses and police departments of more than 700 officers across the state, including dozens in North Texas, after stealing the data from the Texas Police Association's web site.
The hacking is apparently in response to a story News 8 broke last week about a Wylie policeman put on administrative leave while he's investigated for child pornography.
In a web site posting with the data on Wednesday night, 'Anonymous' said "administrative leave" should be reserved for "injured cops," not what hackers called a "kiddie porn collecting cop." The stolen information also included a link to the WFAA story about the Wylie officer.
Hackers stole officers names and addresses (many of them officers' homes), along with logins and passwords for the Texas Police Association.
"This is very serious, not just from the standpoint of law enforcement, but for every private citizen out there as far as their privacy," said Erwin Ballarta, Executive Director of the Texas Police Association.
"I wasn't surprised, because in the past, they've done similar acts with the Texas Police Chiefs web site," said David Henderson, a suburban policeman in North Texas and expert on cyber crime with CSG Analysis.
He said leaking personal information on police could threaten their safety.
"I think that [affected officers] should be more concerned today than they were two days ago," Henderson continued.
The Texas Police Association told its member officers that the web site had been breached.
Ballarta said his organization sent letters and he even made personal calls in some cases.
This is the second time the Texas Police Association's web site has been hacked, Ballarta revealed, but the first time any personal information on officers was revealed.
The FBI was notified, according to Ballarta.
'Anonymous' has become notorious for cyber crime after hacking and attacking high-profile websites.