Colorado sheriffs with Google working to find out how their database “mistakenly revealed the identities of confidential drug informants and listed phone numbers, addresses and Social Security numbers of suspects, victims and others interviewed during criminal investigations”, authorities said.
The breach potentially affects some 200,000 people, and Mesa County sheriff’s deputies have been sifting through the database to determine who, if anyone, is in jeopardy. “That in itself is probably the biggest concern we have, because we’re talking about people’s personal safety,” Sheriff Stan Hilkey said.
The FBI and Google are trying to determine who accessed the database, the sheriff said. Their concern: That someone may have copied it and could post it, WikiLeaks-style, on the Internet.
Hilkey surmised that a “Google Web crawler that can be programed to troll the Internet for specific sets of information, such as nine-digit numbers that can be Social Security numbers, found the server”.