Hackers attack law enforcement agencies’ Web sites

| | Updated on: Feb 04, 2012

Saboteurs have hacked into the Web sites of several law enforcement agencies worldwide in attacks attributed to the collective called Anonymous, including in Boston and in Salt Lake City, where police say personal information of confidential informants and tipsters was accessed.

The hackers in the state of Utah gained access this week to sensitive data, including citizen complaints about drug crimes, including phone numbers, addresses and other personal information, police said.

“We’re still knee-deep in trying to get a feel for the extent of the problem,” Salt Lake City police Detective Dennis McGowan said.

The group claimed responsibility for an attack on the Web site of a Virginia law firm for a US Marine convicted in a deadly 2005 attack in Haditha, Iraq.

The attacks come after Anonymous published a recording of a phone call between the FBI and Scotland Yard early Wednesday, gloating in a Twitter message that “the FBI might be curious how we’re able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now.”

In Greece, the Justice Ministry took down its site Friday after a video by activists claiming to be Greek and Cypriot members of Anonymous was displayed for at least two hours.

In Boston, a message posted on the police Web site Friday said, “Anonymous hacks Boston Police Web site in retaliation for police brutality at OWS,” apparently a reference to the Occupy Wall Street movement. A police spokesman would not confirm Anonymous was responsible.

In a message posted on the Boston police department’s Web site, the group said that the site had been attacked several months ago and that hundreds of passwords were released in retaliation for what they called brutality against Occupy Boston.

In October, Boston police acknowledged that various Web sites used by members of the police department including the Web site belonging to the police patrolmen’s association had been hacked and possibly compromised.

The department said it had asked all department personnel to change their passwords on the police department’s network.

Boston’s Occupy movement set up camp in the city’s financial district for two months this fall.

The first hack came about 10 days after Boston police arrested 141 Occupy Boston demonstrators on October 11.

Police dismantled the camp December 10, citing public health and safety concerns.

“They clearly ignored our warnings,” the message on the department’s Web site said today.

Published on February 04, 2012

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