A data breach has impacted 112,000 French police officers after a file containing home addresses and telephone numbers was uploaded to Google Drive without strong protection – roughly two weeks after a police official was murdered in an Isis-inspired attack.
In a move that has been branded an "act of revenge" at the hands of a disgruntled former employee, the data reportedly came from a health and benefit insurance firm closely linked to the police, called the Mutuelle Generale de la Police (MGP).
According to the local media RTL, details on officers – both serving and retired – alongside family members were uploaded to Google's cloud storage service on 2 June and were only protected by "a simple password." The investigation into the leak, which took three weeks to uncover, is now underway to find out if anyone accessed the compromised data.
Nicolas Conte, deputy general secretary of the police union, said it is an "extremely worrying" situation and called for institutions to "strengthen their security." Meanwhile, according to the BBC, officials from the MGP told France TV it had been the victim "of a malicious act on the part of an employee".
Police in the region have stressed the need for police officer anonymity following the murder of a commander and his partner in Paris on 13 June at the hands of an alleged jihadist. The attacker, who also took the couple's three-year-old son hostage, was killed by law enforcement at the scene.
Within hours of the murder, the Islamic State (Isis), also known as Daesh, claimed responsibility for the deaths. In response, French president François Hollande said it was an "odious act." He added: "Light will be shed on the circumstances of this abominable drama whose investigation, under the authority of justice, will determine the exact nature."
After the tragic incident, Hollande also said that extra security measures would be implemented to "ensure anonymity" for French police officers.
The killing was the second attack linked to Isis during the religious Ramadan period this year. In a separate US-based terrorist attack on 12 June, a man named Omar Mateen murdered 50 people at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, after reportedly claiming loyalty to the terror group.