Data leak embarrasses Colorado sheriff, terrifies informants

By Jacqui Cheng

A database leak in Mesa County, Colorado has left the personal information of 200,000 people in jeopardy. And not just any 200,000 people—these are suspects, victims, and informants working with the sheriff’s department to out other criminals. The incident has left the sheriff’s department scrambling to find out who might have accessed the information—and whether it’s now posted elsewhere on the Internet.

The leak started flowing when a county IT employee who had legal access to the database copied it to another server in April of this year. According to the Associated Press, the employee had copied over the database in the form of a giant text file with everyone’s information available in plaintext, assuming that the target server was secure.

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