- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Twitter on Tuesday banned the account belonging to Distributed Denial of Secrets, a website that recently published a trove of internal police documents obtained in a data breach.

A spokesperson for Twitter confirmed the account, @DDoSecrets, was permanently suspended for violating the social media platform’s policy against sharing hacked or stolen material.

Twitter took action after the account began promoting the police documents, which were published on the Distributed Denial of Secrets website last week under the name “BlueLeaks.”

Distributed Denial of Secrets, or DDoS, said the BlueLeaks collection includes gigabytes of data “hacked” by a person or persons associated with the Anonymous hacktivist movement.

Twitter said the account shared documents containing unredacted information that could put individuals at risk, and openly in violation of its policy against sharing hacked data.

Since late 2018, Twitter policy prohibits the use of the platform “to directly distribute content obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in physical harm or danger or contains trade secrets.”

Twitter told The Washington Times it will take action against links to the BlueLeaks data being shared across the service; users who click on links shared on Twitter to the site have received a warning message notifying them that it may be unsafe.

DDoS says the BlueLeaks data has several years’ worth of material from “over 200 police department, fusion centers and other law enforcement training and support resources.”

A government alert obtained by cybersecurity reporter Brian Krebs indicated the leak originated from a security breach at Netsential, a Texas-based web development firm used by multiple law enforcement agencies.

“Our initial analysis revealed that some of these files contain highly sensitive information such as ACH routing numbers, international bank account numbers (IBANs), and other financial data as well as personally identifiable information (PII) and images of suspects listed in Requests for Information (RFIs) and other law enforcement and government agency reports,” the alert said.

Launched in 2018, DDoS has previously released other collections of leaked data of public interest, including documents first made available through the similar website WikiLeaks.

Emma Best, a journalist who launched DDoS, criticized the account’s permanent suspension, tweeting: “Twitter doesn’t want you watching the watchers.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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