Hackers release San Francisco Bart cop data


Hackers have published what is believed to be private information of police officers after moves to stifle protests in San Francisco.

Officers working for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (Bart) underground transport agency were targeted after mobile phone services were cut off at stations to prevent protests.

Data of 102 officers was published online after a breach of the Bart Police Officers Association the union representing the officers. Information included home addresses, email addresses and passwords for the union's site.

The moves came after anger over Bart police shooting a homeless man, who was killed after allegedly threatening officers with a knife. Protests were subsequently planned.

The leak today of BART officer data could be the work sanctioned by those who truly support anonymous, or agent provocateurs.

Earlier this week, hacktivist group Anonymous said it had taken down Bart's marketing website, myBart.org.

Yet there is confusion over who was responsible for leaking the data of the Bart police. A tweet from AnonyOps indicated Anonymous may not have been involved.

"The leak today of BART officer data could be the work sanctioned by those who truly support anonymous, or agent provocateurs. Stay skeptical," it read.

"FYI, No one claimed responsibility for the hack. Some random joe joined a channel and released the data to the press," another AnonyOps tweet read.

A Pastebin post from the owner of the AnonyOps Twitter feed sought to explain their stance further.

"The mainstream media needs to understand that Anonymous isn't unanimous. I've yet to see wide scale reporting make this distinction," the post read.

"A destructive minority is getting a majority of the press, while those of us who toil in the shadow doing good work for people at home and abroad go unthanked."

As noted by this website before, Anonymous could suffer due to its structure allowing anyone to claim they are carrying out activities in the hacktivist group's name.

The FBI is now investigating the hack, whilst the Federal Communications Commission is reportedly looking into whether Bart's decision to disable mobile services was legal.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.