What is BlueLeaks?
On June 19, 2020, law enforcement sensitive and confidential records were illegally accessed and published to the internet by a hacker organization. This event, frequently referred to as BlueLeaks, impacted agencies and organizations throughout the country. In Austin, the data breach focused on records maintained by the Austin Regional Intelligence Center (ARIC) that may contain personally-identifiable and financial information, and other confidential data belonging to members of the public.
What is APD doing about this breach?
APD has established an online tool that individuals may use to determine whether their personal information was contained in the data breach. The first step requires an individual to complete the online form. Once entered, the system will provide a positive or negative indication of a match.
In the event that someone’s personal information has been impacted, they will be prompted to file a Public Information Request with APD. The request will be reviewed and processed and the information that was published will be released to that individual. State law prohibits APD from releasing certain private information to a third party.
How can I protect myself moving forward?
If an individual has been affected by this breach or wishes to enhance their identity and computer security, APD provides these tips:
- Learn how to spot the signs of identity theft at the Federal Trade Commission’s resource website - https://www.identitytheft.gov/
- Obtain and review a copy of your credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. Please visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ for additional information.
- Be aware of Phishing attempts. Phishing is the act of sending a communication that falsely claims to be from a legitimate organization. This is typically coupled with a threat and a request for sensitive information. Legitimate organizations never ask for your information through texts, pop-up messages, or email. If someone asks for your information, respond only by using a method you know to be legitimate.
- Update your passwords. There are several programs attackers can use to help guess or crack passwords. By choosing sophisticated passwords and keeping them private, you can make it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access your information. Passwords should be complex and kept confidential.
For more information and security tips, please visit our website.