19 November 2014
NL Secret Documents Leaked by Police
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:06:44 +0100
From: "Matthijs Koot" <koot[at]cyberwar.nl>
NRC Handelsblad reports that a sysop placed confidential police investigation
documents on an unsecured (part of a?) personal website of a family member,
and those documents were subsequently indexed by Google:
Secret documents compromised due to security leak at police
As the result of a security leak at the police, dozens of confidential documents
were out in the open. The documents concern police investigations into murder,
robbery, criminal organizations and jihad suspects. The sensitive information
could be found using search engine Google, NRC Handelsblad found.
The police confirm the security leak and immediately took the documents offline.
Until yesterday afternoon the documents could be seen by simply searching
Google for the name of one of the suspects. The information from police
investigations was stored on a personal website of an accountant. A family
member of the accountant is a system administrator with the police and has
placed the information on an unsecured part of the website. It is unclear
why and how the system administrator did this.
Jihadis shadowed for months
The leaked documents concern criminal cases in which suspects are being observed.
For instance, the social network around a leader of a criminal organization
was mapped, as was the network of a foreign ex-diplomat who would be involved
in criminal activities. The documents sometimes contain information obtained
from the Criminal Intelligence Unit, a strictly secret police department
that uses informants. A group of young people suspected of wanting to travel
to Syria for jihad was shadowed for months. In a report dated October 15th,
the police writes that the observation takes a lot of resources of regional
units. "We are already noticing that it gets increasingly difficult to get
Photos and addresses of dozens of suspects
The leaked information also contains names, photos and addresses of dozens
of suspects. Records were kept of which cars they drove, at what places they
meet, whom they have contact with, and which phones they use. The documents
also show how officers describe their observations in detail.
Concerning a 17-year-old suspect it was noted, for instance, how he left
his home at 08:50, which clothes he wears and how he travels to school by
bus. Around 11:00 he and his friends walk to a shopping mall. The officers
write that they buy sandwiches and bottled drinks, and then drink "free coffee".
A week later, a new observation report notes that the ten officers involved
in the observation loose the suspect out of sight after he drove off on a
scooter. But ten minutes later they have him back in sight, after localizing
the suspect's cellphone through telephone poles.
Sensitive information about the police themselves was also online, such as
names and phone numbers of detectives and prosecutors (in Dutch: "officier
van justitie"). In some cases information was included about which criminal
cases they are handling. The Public Prosecution Service (in Dutch:
"Openbaar Ministerie") and police are investigating whether the leaking of
these names has consequences to other ongoing investigations.
The National Police Internal Investigation Department (in Dutch:
"Rijksrecherche") started an inquiry into leaking confidential information
about criminal investigations. "The Public Prosecution Service wants to know
how this could have happened and who accessed the information", a police
spokesperson states. The system administrator who put the documents on a
personal website has been suspended.
The National Police Internal Investigation Department investigates what the
intentions are of the man who put the documents online. The police can't
say how long the information was accessible on the web.