Confidential information released in Lake County Sheriff's website hacking

Employee emails, passwords and investigation info released


LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Lake County sheriff's deputies have launched an investigation into how its computer system was hacked, which forced officials to shut down all electronic communication and Internet for more than three days.

Deputies said the website was hacked Friday afternoon. LCSO says the computer system has since been secured. Local 6 has learned the email addresses and personal passwords for more than 250 employees have been leaked. LCSO confirmed some of their personal information may have been compromise.

"That was relayed to them, perhaps yes, that it was a possibility," said Lt. John Harrell.

Local 6 has found out the names of confidential witnesses in open investigations could become public as a result of the hacking. In one case, a drug trafficking investigation resulting in an arrest is spelled out online, including surveillance details, wire taps and full reports possibly identifying informants.

"I'm not going to comment on that because that is part of the FBI investigation and for me to even say anything about that would be completely inappropriate," Harrell said. "I'm just not at liberty to talk about it."

"Right now we're just trying to get everything rescued and taking it one step at a time," Harrell said. "It's definitely a concern, and something were taking very seriously. And I can tell you initially it was a shock. It was very frustrating to learn that someone would do this."

Another website claims more than 13,000 files were hacked and separated into 1,600 folders that can be downloaded for anyone to see. The sheriff's office didn't confirm or deny any of the claims.

It's not clear how the site was hacked but the FBI is now leading the investigation, deputies said.

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.