Police Security Tightened After Assange Supporter ‘Steals’ Data
Hackers continue to back Julian Assange in earnest, claiming they stole data from two UK police forces
Police security measures have been increased, after a hacker claimed to have stolen logins and passwords from two forces’ websites, apparently as part of the campaign on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Both Hertfordshire and Nottinghamshire police forces confirmed to TechWeekEurope that they were investigating the claims, made by a hacker purportedly protesting for Julian Assange’s freedom.
A Pastebin post appeared to contain swathes of information from the Hertfordshire force and some information from Nottinghamshire Police, as well as the Police.uk website, which offers citizens “crime maps” of areas of the UK and which is operated by the Home Office. There was no confirmation that all three were breached.
Once more unto the breach…
“Hertfordshire Constabulary is currently investigating following the publication on the internet of information stored on a database linked to the public Safer Neighbourhoods pages of the external Constabulary website,” a Hertfordshire police security spokesperson said.
“Hertfordshire Constabulary can confirm that the externally hosted system from where it appears the information has come is not linked to any internal force system and there is absolutely no suggestion that any personal data relating to officers or members of the public has been, or could have been compromised.
“Nevertheless matters of IT security are extremely important to the Constabulary and an investigation is already underway.”
Nottinghamshire said it was confident no important data had been stolen, but it was still boosting security as a precaution.
“We are aware of the posting made on Twitter today (Thursday 30 August 2012) by a user who claimed to have accessed information from our website via a third party site,” the force said.
“Following initial inquiries, we are confident at this stage that no restricted or confidential information was accessed or databases compromised.
“We continue to investigate and have taken steps to further strengthen security around our website as a precaution.”
The Home Office had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
A hacker going by the name of @0x00x00 on Twitter took credit for the attack, but said he was not part of Anonymous, which has been leading the OpFreeAssange campaign. “This tells how insecure the Web is,” they posted on Pastebin.
Numerous websites have been hit as part of OpFreeAssange, which wants to see Assange let out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London so he can enjoy asylum in the South American country.
Assange is still residing in the embassy, which is surrounded by police officers. The Wikileaks founder is wanted for questioning in Sweden over sexual abuse allegations, but is seeking safe passage to Ecuador because he fears extradition to the US from Sweden. The South American nation granted him asylum after Assange’s appeal against the extradition was denied by UK courts.
Central government websites have also been taken out, whilst Labour MP Peter Hain had his website defaced, even though he was against the extradition of Assange.
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