Almost one week after it was infiltrated by an infamous group of renegade hackers, the Boston police news website went back online yesterday, police said.
On Feb. 3, the news releases and photos that normally make up the page were replaced by a message from the group Anonymous criticizing the Boston Police Department for evicting Occupy Boston protesters from Dewey Square. Anonymous also inserted a video of hip-hop artist KRS-One rapping about police brutality, coupled with images of confrontations between officers and civilians.
Shortly after the blog was hacked into last week, police officials temporarily relieved the problem by redirecting visitors who tried to access the site to the department’s Facebook page.
“I commend the Boston Police Department for restoring this vital community information portal,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “The Boston Police Department’s ability to communicate with the public so effectively is an extremely important part of community policing.”
Anonymous, a group that has been blamed for online hackings around the world, took credit for the incident.
This is not the first time the group has been involved with Boston police. In October of last year, Anonymous took responsibility for posting email information about approximately 1,000 Boston police officers.
Yesterday, a tweet posted by the group read, “Boston police news site reclaimed from Anonymous hackers. … After how long? Nice work guise [sic.]”
Police are not commenting on the possibility of similar cyber attacks in the future.
“The Boston Police Department is not getting into specifics on steps taken to restore the site, and is not commenting about current threats,” said Elaine Driscoll, police spokeswoman, yesterday.
The department also released a video announcing the site was back online. The clip included officers making light of the situation.
“Normally I sleep pretty well. But since the site went down, I haven’t slept a wink,” said Boston Police Deputy Superintendent Colm Lydon.
Deputy Superintendent William Gross also made an appearance in the video.
“My reaction was: ‘Why would anybody want to destroy a perfectly good KRS-One song?’ ’’
No one has been charged in the hacking and the incident remains under investigation, said David Estrada, a police spokesman.