Sheriff data breach ruled as unsubstantiated

Published 10:12 am Friday, November 21, 2014

Administrator says nothing is compromised

Allegations of a data breach within the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office were not substantiated, according to the county’s administrator on Wednesday.

John Kluever

John Kluever

Administrator John Kluever and information technology staff investigated the possibility that someone was inappropriately viewing open investigation files and disseminating parts of those files in the public.

The allegation came in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 sheriff’s election, a race that was rife with controversy.

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Kluever said he was prompted to start the investigation Oct. 23 based on information that was circulating in the public about an open file. Originally, he suspected one computer had been compromised.

He said that computer was placed on limited access by IT staff during the investigation and is being recommended to return to the same prior access now that the investigation is completed.

Another recommendations that came out of the investigation included having the information systems coordinator for the Law Enforcement Center and the information technology director set up a meeting with representatives from the Computer Information System software that is used in the Law Enforcement Center.

The meeting will look at potential weaknesses in security and if there are additional technology options available to make the software more secure.

Law enforcement officers presently have the ability to access open investigation files even if those files are not part of their work assignment.

“You have numerous people who could go in and look at any file for any reason,” he said.

An additional recommendation suggests moving the Law Enforcement Center information systems coordinator position into the IT Department for added backup.