Hacktivist steals data from UK police websites

Lone attack embarrasses forces

A hacktivist has successfully stolen data including email addresses from three UK police websites in an attack apparently in support of Wikileaks' Julian Assange.

Published on Pastebin under an 'OpFreeAssange' banner, the data taken from three police sites - Hertfordshire and Nottinghamshire Constabularies, and police.co.uk - was fairly low-level by recent breach standards.

The most significant included email addresses, account passwords and PINs of police staff working on the Safer Neighbourhoods scheme. IP addresses were also exposed but most of the harm will be simple embarrassment.

"As a precaution these pages have been temporarily disabled whilst the circumstances as to how this information was obtained is investigated," read a statement form Hertfordshire Police.

"There is absolutely no suggestion that any personal data relating to officers or members of the public has been, or could have been compromised," it said.

The hacker's motivation appears to be simple nuisance.

"I am not a member of Anonymous. Do whatever the f*** you want with this information i don't give a f*** !, read the hacker's message. This is nothing big not some l33t h4x shit ... but this tells how insecure the Web is "

As of 31 August, only Hertfordshire's website was still unavailable.

"Public sector organisations need to understand that, by hosting sites with third parties or outsourcing such important services to system integrators, does not take responsibility away from those who are employed to ensure the security of "our" data," commented Stonesoft UK and Ireland manager, Ash Patel.

"It is time that it was made clear that the responsibility lies with the government and its employees in the same way that the nation's security lies with the armed forces,"he added.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John E Dunn

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts