The loose-knit international hacking collective known as Anonymous claims it hacked into around 70 US law enforcement websites, stealing 10 gigabytes worth of data.

To prove it, this weekend the group posted items such as police emails, tips that seemed to come from members of the public, and credit card numbers.

Anonymous said the move was in retaliation for the arrests of its sympathizers in the US and Britain.

Many of the hacked websites were operated by a Mountain Home, Arkansas media services hosting company. The stolen emails — which were mainly from sheriffs’ offices in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi — contained sensitive information such as details about suspected crimes, security training, and gang member profiles.

In a statement, Anonymous said had leaked “a massive amount of confidential information that is sure to (embarrass), discredit and incriminate police officers across the US,” and that the group hoped to “demonstrate the inherently corrupt nature of law enforcement using their own words” and “disrupt and sabotage their ability to communicate and terrorize communities.”

[Daily Mail]