Hacker targets police and recruitment sites in pro-Assange protest


The logins, passwords and email addresses belonging to dozens of Hertfordshire Police officers appear to have been published online by a computer hacker.

The details were posted on text sharing site, Pastebin, yesterday by a hacker called 0x00x00, in an apparent show of support for Julian Assange.

The Wikileaks founder is currently seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning about a series of sexual misconduct allegations, which he has repeatedly denied.

The hacker also claims to have obtained information belonging to Nottinghamshire Police.

This is nothing big, but this tells how insecure the web is.

In a statement, Hertfordshire Police denied that any personal information belonging to officers and members of the public had been compromised.

"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," said the statement.

"As a precaution these pages have been temporarily disabled whilst the circumstances as to how this information was obtained is investigated."

In recent weeks, computer hackers, including members of the renowned Anonymous group, have staged a number of attacks against high profile sites in protest at the handling of the Assange case.

However, 0x00x00 used the Pastebin entry to distance themselves from Anonymous.

"I am not a member of Anonymous...This is nothing big, but this tells how insecure the web is," 0x00x00 wrote.

The hacker also appears to have targeted Slough-based firm, Hand2Hand Recruitment, having posted a document on Pastebin this morning that allegedly contains information about the firm's customers.

At the time of writing, the company's website also featured two pictures of Julian Assange on its homepage, adding weight to the hacker's claims.

IT Pro has alerted Hand2Hand Recruitment to the situation and was awaiting a response from the firm's management team as this story went to press.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.