AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A data breach has impacted Maine State Police’s information sharing database for federal, state and local law enforcement officials, the agency confirmed late Friday.
State police say they were notified on June 20 by Netsential that a data breach may have included information from the Maine Information and Analysis Center, or MIAC.
The agency has contracted the Houston, Texas-based company, which provides web hosting services to hundreds of law enforcement and government agencies across the country, since 2017.
State police say they’ve notified agencies that participate in MIAC and are working with the FBI’s Houston Field Office to assess the extent of the data breach.
“Earlier today we received confirmation that datasets submitted to the MIAC by partner organizations and are maintained by Netsential have been compromised and made public through various unlawful means,” state police said in a written statement. “Our initial analysis revealed some of these files contain information distributed among law enforcement and government agencies. We will be engaging in additional, more specific notifications to those agencies affected as we learn what the contents of those breaches are to ensure that ongoing investigations are not jeopardized.”
MIAC is a so-called “fusion center” meant to help law enforcement agencies work together to prevent terrorism and other major crimes. Most were established in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
State police said the most common documents shared on the database are crime information and situational awareness bulletins.
“These bulletins often contain identifying information, such as full name and date of birth of people under investigation by other law enforcement agencies,” the agency said in its statement. “They may also involve individuals wanted for criminal activity or individuals reported as missing.”