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Activists say they received hacked police aerial surveillance footage

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An activist group posted over 600 hours of police aerial surveillance footage received from an anonymous hacker that claims to target unsecured law enforcement data. 

The group, Distributed Denial of Secrets, told The Dallas Morning News that the hacked footage included video from the Dallas police and the Georgia State Patrol.

Distributed Denial of Secrets co-founder Emma Best said that her organization does not know the identity of the hacker or why that person targeted those organizations specifically, per The Morning News.

A Dallas police spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill that the department had “received multiple inquiries regarding a website’s report about a potential data breach of 1.8 TB of the Department’s Helicopter and Drone footage.”

“The Department cannot confirm at this time how much video information was breached. It is important to note that this video data was not lost nor is it missing,” the statement added. “This is an ongoing investigation. The Department will provide a full response at the conclusion of the investigation.”  

The breach follows other concerns about Dallas city security that arose when a former city IT worker deleted evidence files earlier this year. In March, over 8 million police archive photos, videos, audio and other materials were deleted by the employee, who was supposed to transfer the files from cloud storage to a city server, The Morning News reported.

Last week, the Dallas Police Department announced that the public would no longer be able to search for information like complainant names, including victims of homicides, as part of changes to the Open Data portal. Those changes would also allow police to delay reporting the whereabouts of officers responding to crimes in an effort to protect victims and officers.

The Hill has reached out to the Georgia State Police and Distributed Denial of Secrets for comment. 

Tags cybersecurity Dallas Dallas Police Department Distributed Denial of Secrets Georgia Georgia State Patrol Texas

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