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FBI: “Hacktivists” Target Cops, Families




|| By FITSNEWS || The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) are urging police to be leery of online “hacktivists” seeking personal information about them and their families via social media.

“Law enforcement personnel and public officials may be at an increased risk of cyber attacks,” an FBI release stated.  “These attacks can be precipitated by someone scanning networks or opening infected emails containing malicious attachments or links.”

According to the government, hacking collectives are “leveraging open source, publicly available information identifying officers, their employers, and their families.”

Yeah … sounds a lot like what the National Security Agency (NSA) is doing, doesn’t it?

Anyway … the FBI is concerned that police officers who post identifying information on social media (including images of themselves in uniform) are making themselves more vulnerable to being “targeted.”

“Law enforcement personnel and public officials need to maintain an enhanced awareness of the content they post and how it may reflect on themselves, their family, their employer or how it could be used against them in court or during online attacks,” the FBI release warned.

In fact the FBI is issuing its warning in response to an existing threat ….

“Recent activity suggests family members of law enforcement personnel and public officials are also at risk for cyber attacks and doxing activity,” the agency stated. “Targeted information may include personally identifiable information and public information and pictures from social media Web sites.”

“Doxing,” by the way, is the process of “compiling and posting an individual’s personal information without permission.”

The FBI is also concerned the data collection efforts could lead to “swatting,” which is the process of “calling law enforcement authorities to report a hostage situation or other critical incident” when no such incident exists.

What do we make of all this?

We’re not sure … we’re tempted to invoke the whole “taste of your own medicine” term, but we’d hate to see honest law enforcement officers get hurt by something they (or their family) posted online.

Hopefully police in your neck of the woods are exercising caution …