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Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office Responds to Data Breach

The Minnesota law enforcement agency is responding to a Web service data breach that has exposed the information of 1,400 people, officials confirmed. The office was initially notified of the exposure in June.

by David Chanen, Star Tribune / October 26, 2020
Shutterstock/Timofeev Vladimir

(TNS) — The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is responding to a Web service data breach that has exposed information on 1,400 people.

Officials were notified in June by Netsential that information from the Sheriff’s Office had been compromised by a server breach. Netsential is a Houston-based company that provides Web hosting services to hundreds of law enforcement and government agencies. The breach had an impact on more than 200 police departments, fusion centers and other U.S. law enforcement agencies.

The most common documents shared by the Sheriff’s Office through the Web service are crime information and situational awareness bulletins from federal, state and local law enforcement officials that include the full names and birthdates of individuals under investigation, wanted by law enforcement or who have active criminal warrants.

Since being notified, the Sheriff’s Office has found that the data of at least 1,400 individuals had been breached. The Houston FBI Field Office is investigating the scope of the breach.

Netsential has modernized its primary storage platform and enhanced database security by creating complex passwords for each database. It also has begun to increase data encryption awareness and plans additional security upgrades.

Andy Skoogman, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said the county has prepared a breach report pursuant to state law. Members of the public may request a copy of the report by mail or e-mail, or by contacting Lt. Jennifer Johnson at 612-543-3515. The report also will be posted on the Sheriff’s Office website.

©2020 the Star Tribune, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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