MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) is working with the FBI to monitor and respond to a web service breach after information from more than 200 police departments, fusion centers and other U.S. law enforcement agencies was compromised this summer.
According to the sheriff’s office, the agency was notified in June by Netsential about the data breach on a server that included information from HCSO.
Netsential is a Texas-based company that provides web hosting services to hundreds of law enforcement and government agencies across the country, including the HCSO.
According to the sheriff’s office, the most common documents shared by the HCSO through the web service are crime information and situational awareness bulletins. These bulletins often contain information of individuals under investigation who are wanted by law enforcement or have active criminal warrants. Officials say the sharing of information between agencies is critical in solving crimes and locating criminals.
The HCSO says since being notified, the agency has investigated whether any private data was accessed as a result of the Netsential breach. According to the sheriff’s office, the investigation found 1,400 individuals have been impacted.
Over the last few months, the sheriff’s office says Netsential has enhanced its database security, creating unique passwords for each database.
Officials say the Houston FBI Field Office continues to investigate the scope of the breach. Members of the public can request a copy of the HCSO’s breach report by contacting the department.