“A data breach at a federally funded active shooter training center has exposed the personal data of thousands of US law enforcement officials, ZDNet has learned,” Zack Whittaker reports for ZDNet. “The cache of data contained identifiable information on local and state police officers, and federal agents, who sought out or underwent active shooter response training in the past few years. The backend database powers the website of Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training — known as ALERRT — at Texas State University.”

“The database dates back to April 2017 and was uploaded a year later to a web server, believed to be owned by the organization, with no password protection,” Whittaker reports. “ZDNet obtained a copy of the database, which was first found by a New Zealand-based data breach hunter, who goes by the pseudonym Flash Gordon.”

“‘In the wrong hands this data could be detrimental or even deadly for the first responders who put their lives on the line every day,’ said John Wethington, a security researcher, who reviewed a portion of the data for ZDNet,” Whittaker reports. “The database contained thousands of personal data records, including law enforcement officer’s work contact information, with many of the records listing personal email addresses, work addresses, and cell numbers. Officials from the FBI, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the US Border Patrol were listed in the database. In another table, some 65,000 officers who had taken an ALERRT course and provided feedback had their full name and zip code exposed.”

Read more in the full article here.

In a related article, Whittaker reports that U.S. Homeland Security served Twitter with a subpoena, demanding the account information of the data breach finder, Flash Gordon.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: More proof that iPhone backdoors are a stupid idea.

Again, encryption is binary; it’s either on or off. You cannot have both. You either have privacy via full encryption or you don’t by forcing back doors upon Apple or anybody else. It’s all or nothing. — MacDailyNews, March 8, 2017

There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a backdoor in, that backdoor’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, December 2015

This is not about this phone. This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take encryption away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own encryption. Encryption is readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funs encryption in many cases. And so, if we limit it in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find it anyway. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 2016

SEE ALSO:
Bipartisan ‘Secure Data Act’ would make it illegal for U.S. government to demand backdoors – May 11, 2018
Bill Gates thinks Apple should unlock iPhones at the government’s request – February 13, 2018
FBI Director Wray calls inability to access electronic devices an ‘urgent public safety issue’ – January 9, 2018
Tim Cook’s refusal to create iPhone backdoor for FBI vindicated by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack on Windows PCs – May 15, 2017
The Microsoft Tax: Leaked NSA malware hijacks Windows PCs worldwide; Macintosh unaffected – May 13, 2017
Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that ‘back doors’ are a stupid idea – August 10, 2016
U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu says strong encryption without backdoors is a ‘national security priority’ – April 29, 2016
iPhone backdoors would pose a threat, French privacy chief warns – April 8, 2016
The U.S. government’s fight with Apple could backfire big time – March 14, 2016
Obama pushes for iPhone back door; Congressman Issa blasts Obama’s ‘fundamental lack of understanding’ – March 12, 2016
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch backs U.S. government overreach on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – March 11, 2016
Former CIA Director: FBI wants to dictate iPhone’s operating system – March 11, 2016
FBI warns it could demand Apple’s iPhone code and secret electronic signature – March 10, 2016
California Democrat Diane Feinstein backs U.S. government overreach over Apple – March 10, 2016
Snowden: U.S. government’s claim it can’t unlock San Bernardino iPhone is ‘bullshit’ – March 10, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook lashes out at Obama administration over encryption, bemoans White House lack of leadership – January 13, 2016
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013<