(KCPW News) The Salt Lake City Police Department’s website is back online after a security breach that prompted a shutdown. In January, the activist group Anonymous took credit for the attack on SLCPD.com, saying it was in response to an anti-graffiti bill in the legislature. Hackers obtained email addresses and other personal information from those who had submitted information through the site. Police Detective Dennis McGowan says the site was designed to facilitate communication with the public.
“The bottom line here, the key message is that while this issue did not affect the way we operate in the field it did reduce the opportunity the public had to interact with us and share information with us which is key to our success,” he says.
McGowan says the security of the new site has been enhanced, noting tips and online police reports now go through a third-party vendor. The site is also now integrated with the Salt Lake City government’s website.
“Our website now is cleaner, simpler, it’s better organized,” he says. “It’s more user-friendly and we feel it’s more secure, especially due to the fact that we’re connected now with the city. We encourage people to use it. There are a lot of opportunities for them to make contact with us and provide us information and help us help them.”
McGowan says it’s critical for registered users to change their passwords for added security. Since January, the department communicated with the public primarily through social media while the site was being revamped.