The Fraternal Order of Police, the nation's largest police union, says a breach of its computer systems by unidentified hackers that led to bargaining contracts and possibly other data being dumped online apparently originated overseas.
"Our professional computer experts have identified how the hackers made access but that information cannot be distributed at this time for obvious reasons. Suffice it to say that the level of sophistication was very high," FOP National President Chuck Canterbury said Thursday in a Facebook post.
Several files from the FOP were dumped online on Thursday. A post announcing the dump said there was a much larger trove of hacked data containing "classified or sensitive" FOP material that had not yet been made public.
The poster, a U.K. citizen who goes by Cthulhu (which happens to be the name of a mysterious cosmic entity created by horror-fiction author H. P. Lovecraft), said he acquired the data from a source who wished to remain anonymous.
"I was told it should be released on the grounds the information is within the scope of public interest, in light of an ever increasing divide between the police groups and the citizens of the U.S.," Cthulhu wrote.
The Fraternal Order of Police, a labor organization of sworn law enforcement officers, says it represents more than 325,000 members in 2,100 local chapters, or lodges, across the U.S.
Canterbury said the data posted to date "is merely bargaining contracts that we have collected and inputed into our data system and those are all available on the open web." He added, however, that the hackers breached "all of our records and therefore we have shut down access to our entire site."
The FOP website remained offline on Friday.
The national FOP did not immediately return a call from NBC News seeking additional details of the hack.
Canterbury told TechWorm that hackers did not access any sensitive personal or financial information of FOP members.