Saturday, October 22, 2011

Police web sites hacked - A warning to us all!

Update on hack attacks. Read the story carefully. These are police departments. They normally would have some pretty serious security in place. Also the response is for police to reset their passwords. well maybe that helps but the real issue is that the sites were hacked and unless some drastic new security measures are put in lace the sites can no doubt be hacked at will any day.

For the rest of us this a continued sobering reality. The Internet is pretty much an unlocked door at your house. Anyone can walk in, look around, take stuff. We need extra locks and also ID theft recovery plans for every American. ID theft insurance - there are many companies provide this - can help somewhat but the urgency is for much more secure Internet protection.

Steffen Schmidt

Online political hacker group hits Boston police websites

10/22/2011 1:20 AM

A politically motivated computer hacker group attacked and brought down dozens of police websites around the country and said it posted e-mail information about nearly 1,000 Boston police officers Friday, claiming it was working in support of the Occupy protest movement.

Anonymous, the group taking credit for the computer intrusions, said in a statement, “In solidarity with the Occupation Movement and the International Day of Action Against Police Brutality, [we] aim at the corrupt bootboys of the 1 percent: the police.”

Specifically, the group said it attacked multiple Boston police websites. Most notably, Anonymous claimed to have hacked the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association website and its web-based e-mail portal, posting the names, e-mail addresses, and passwords of Boston police officers on the Internet for all to see.

In the statement, Anonymous said it attacked BPD sites in response to “the unprovoked mass arrests and brutality experienced by those at Occupy Boston.”

“Let this be a warning to BPD and police everywhere: future acts of aggression against our movements will be met with a vengeance ... ,” the statement read.

Early on Oct. 11, Boston police moved in on some of the Occupy Boston protesters on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and arrested 141 demonstrators.

Late Friday night, Boston police acknowledged the cyber attack, saying in a statement: “It has come to the attention of the Boston Police Department that various websites used by members of the BPD -- including the website belonging to the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association -- have been hacked into and possibly compromised. In light of this information, the Boston Police Department is requiring all department personnel to secure their login information by resetting their passwords on the BPD network.”

The department recommended that police officers change their e-mail passwords and any other Internet, e-mail, and wireless device passwords.

A Boston police spokeswoman could not be reached for comment early this morning.

The group claimed that it “hacked, defaced, and destroyed several law enforcement targets, leaking over 600MB of private information including internal documents, membership rosters, addresses, passwords, Social Security numbers, and other confidential data.”

It claimed to take down at least 40 police-related websites.

The International Association of Chief of Police website was also targeted. The website was down and unreachable early this morning.

Anonymous also took aim at the website of Matrix Group International, which provides Internet services for government agencies. The Matrix website was down early this morning.

Anonymous also claimed to have hacked Birmingham/Jefferson County, Ala., police websites, releasing the names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of nearly 1,000 police officers.

Described as “e-Robin Hoods,” the Internet group Anonymous is known for its hacking skills and online activism.

In a video regarding the police clashes with occupiers on Wall Street, Anonymous said, “This event serves to remind us that we’re living in a police state with absolutely no respect for the right of the people to peacefully assemble and exercise their constitutional free speech. But we will not be scared away… This abuse of authority by the NYPD only serves to strengthen our resolve and reinforce our belief that corruption and injustice in America must be fought.”

“We are Anonymous,” said the masked, computerized voice. “We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”

So now that you've read this case study what's your reaction? How can we secure web sites better? Do you have vulnerable places that can be accessed from the Internet?

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