You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

editorial | police website

Fighting hackers with hip-hop

Police Commissioner Ed Davis lets viewers in on the joke about the department’s video.

WHEN THE cyberhackers of Anonymous set their wrath on Boston police in February, they managed to bring down the department’s main news and information website, bpdnews.com. They also brought out the muse in the Boston cops, who responded by poking fun at the attack.

Apparently because police had cleared out the Occupy Boston protests, members of Anonymous infiltrated and defaced the department’s main website, replacing the usual flow of public information with a video for “Sound of Da Police’’ by rapper KRS-One. Anonymous bragged that the site had fallen “to the swift merciless vengeance of the hive.’’ But if the cyberattack demoralized Boston officers, they certainly didn’t show it.

Continue reading below

Refusing to take the hackers seriously, the department posted a self-deprecating video on YouTube - and even repurposed the KRS-One song. ’’Woop-woop! That’s the sound of da police,’’ the music blares. A seemingly clueless police officer appears, explaining that he was getting coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts when a cashier told him about the hacking. Another officer says he was just scrolling the website, reading all the “positive news,’’ when it went down. Still another officer woodenly assures viewers that the problem is completely fixed. There is even a Spanish-speaking cop who does a little subtle salesmanship, mentioning that the website is translated into 36 different languages.

The video is so deadpan that it can be hard to tell whether the department is oblivious or just kidding. But Commissioner Ed Davis enters at the end to explain, joking aside, that the website is now secure.

There are numerous ongoing investigations against Anonymous. But maybe there’s another weapon against the group: humor. As of this week, the video has been viewed more than 160,000 times.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.