- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Los Angeles Police Department officers had their personal information exposed as the result of a recent data breach disclosed Monday.

An individual contacted city officials last week claiming to have access to a database containing the personal information of about 20,000 people who had applied to the LAPD, the head of the city’s Information Technology Agency told local news outlets.

The individual subsequently provided a sample of the data to back up their claim, prompting officials to start alerting applicants who might have been affected, said Ted Ross, the IT agency’s general manager.

The database in question contained applicant information dating back to 2010, Mr. Ross told The Los Angeles Times. It belonged to the city’s Personnel Department and was no longer in use, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office said in a statement.

About 2,500 of the 20,000 applicants had made it to the next step, including hundreds that are currently sworn LAPD officers, Mr. Ross said.

Potential victims were notified that the breach may have exposed their email addresses, birthdates, the last four digits of their social security numbers and the passwords they used to log on to the database, The Times reported.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the local police officers union, responded by calling it a “serious security issue” for its members and calling for an investigation.

“We urge the City of Los Angeles to fully investigate this lapse in security and to put in place the strongest measures possible to avoid further breached in the future,” the union said in a statement. “We also call upon the city to provide the necessary resources and assistance to any impacted officer who may become the victim of identity theft as a result of this negligence, so that they may restore their credit and/or financial standing.”

The mayor’s office said the breach is under investigation and that the city has responded by implementing extra security measures designed to prevent similar incidents.

“We live in a world in which there are a lot of cybersecurity attacks, especially on government agencies,” Mr. Ross told The Times. “We’ve made a lot of improvements and will continue to make them.”

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