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Law enforcement websites under attack by hackers
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Saboteurs stole passwords and sensitive information on tipsters while hacking into the websites of several law enforcement agencies worldwide in attacks attributed to the collective known as Anonymous.
Breaches were reported this week in Boston, Syracuse, N.Y., Salt Lake City and Greece.
Hackers gained access to the Salt Lake City Police Department website that gathers citizen complaints about drug and other crimes, including phone numbers, addresses and other personal data of informants, police said.
The website remained down Friday as police worked to make it more secure.
Anonymous is a collection of Internet enthusiasts, pranksters and activists whose targets have included financial institutions such as Visa and MasterCard, the Church of Scientology and law enforcement agencies.
Following a spate of arrests across the world, the group and its various offshoots have focused their attention on law enforcement agencies in general and the FBI in particular.
The group also claimed responsibility for hacking the website of a Virginia law firm that represented a U.S. Marine involved in the deaths of civilians in Iraq in 2005.
Anonymous also published a recording on the Internet Friday of a phone call between the FBI and Scotland Yard, 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 Boston, a message posted on the police website before it was taken down Friday said, “Anonymous hacks Boston Police website in retaliation for police brutality at OWS,” an apparent reference to the Occupy Wall Street movement. The message also promised “there is plenty more mayhem to deliver.”
A police spokesman would not confirm Anonymous was responsible.
In October, Boston police acknowledged that various websites used by members of the police department _ including the website belonging to the police patrolmen’s association _ had been hacked and possibly compromised. The department said it asked all police personnel to change their passwords on its network.
The Occupy movement in Boston 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 demonstrators on Oct. 11.
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