British anti-terror hotline breached by hackers: police

April 12, 2012
British armed policemen secure a road in West London. Hackers have recorded calls between staff manning Britain's anti-terrorist hotline, Scotland Yard has revealed, in the second security breach involving the force in recent months.

Hackers have recorded calls between staff manning Britain's anti-terrorist hotline, Scotland Yard revealed Thursday, in the second security breach involving the force in recent months.

Hoaxers also telephoned the hotline, a confidential service allowing people to report suspicious behaviour, and recorded the conversations they had.

The London police force said it had launched an investigation into the breach and urged members of the public to continue using the service.

"We are aware of an issue whereby hoaxers have made calls to the anti-terrorist hotline and have made recordings of their conversations with anti-terrorist hotline staff," it said in a statement.

"In addition, recordings have been made of conversations between Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) anti-terrorist hotline staff."

It said the investigation was being led by Scotland Yard's cyber crime unit, adding: "The anti-terrorist hotline remains operational and we continue to urge members of the public to report any suspicious activity to the police.

"Public reporting is an important part of the fight against terrorism and any attempt to disrupt this service will be investigated thoroughly."

In February, hacker group Anonymous released a recording of a conference call between Scotland Yard and FBI officials discussing operations against the collective.

The British force said at the time that it believed that none of its systems had been hacked, while the US law enforcement agency said it had launched a criminal investigation into the breach.

In an advertising campaign entitled "It's probably nothing, but...", Scotland Yard promotes its anti-terrorist hotline as a confidential way for people to report suspicious behaviour.

"We know you may have concerns about speaking to the police -- possibly because your friends or family may find out. But all information passed to the police is treated in the strictest of confidence," it says.

Britain's intelligence services currently judge the threat level to the country from international terrorism to be "substantial", the third of five levels meaning an attack is a strong possibility.

Explore further: Does raising the terrorism alert level cause undue stress?

Related Stories

Does raising the terrorism alert level cause undue stress?

April 4, 2008

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s color-coded system for warning the public of the risk of a terrorist attack does not appear to cause undue stress among law enforcement officers, according to a study by researchers ...

Hackers gain access to transit police union site

August 17, 2011

(AP) -- Hackers on Wednesday again targeted a California transit agency that came under fire last week for turning off cell phone service in its stations to thwart a potential protest.

UK arrests 2 suspected computer hackers

September 2, 2011

(AP) -- British police on Thursday arrested two men as part of a trans-Atlantic investigation into attacks carried out by the hacking groups Anonymous and Lulz Security.

Hackers intercept FBI, Scotland Yard call (Update)

February 3, 2012

(AP) -- Trading jokes and swapping leads, investigators from the FBI and Scotland Yard spent the conference call strategizing about how to bring down the hacking collective known as Anonymous, responsible for a string of ...

Hackers post W.Va. police officers' personal info

February 8, 2012

(AP) -- Hackers affiliated with the Anonymous hacking group obtained more than 150 police officers' personal information from an old website for the West Virginia Chiefs of Police Association and posted it online.

Recommended for you

Sydney makes its mark with electronic paper traffic signs

July 28, 2015

Visionect, which is in the business of helping companies build electronic paper display products, announced that Sydney has launched e-paper traffic signs. The traffic signage integrates displays from US manufacturer E Ink ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.