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Sheriff's Department database leak puts snitches at risk

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A Colorado sheriff's department mistakenly exposed a sensitive database that contained names, addresses and other details on about 200,000 people, including confidential drug informants.

Thousands of pages of confidential information collected by the Mesa County Sheriff's Department were vulnerable from April until November 24, when someone tipped authorities, according to the Associated Press.

A system administrator moved the database to what was believed to be a secure server, a county spokeswoman told the news service. It was first accessed by an outside computer on October 30. Other computers continued to access it over the next 25 days.

Deputies have used the database for more than 20 years to collect and share intelligence gathered during official police work. Authorities aren't sure if someone copied it and plans to post it WikiLeaks style online.

The employee who transferred the file no longer works for the sheriff's department. ®

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