Hackers 'eavesdropped anti-terrorism hotline call'

Published Apr 12 2012, 17:33 BST  |  By

Police sign

© Rex Features

Hackers have reportedly been able to eavesdrop on highly-sensitive police counter-terrorism conversations, and post the recordings online.

A group calling themselves Team Poison said that it was "easy" to bypass security and drop "a 24-hour phone bomb" on elite security officers.

The group, known on Twitter as TeaMp0isoN, is understood to have hit Scotland Yard with 700 calls before an American-sounding caller, using the name 'Trick', informed them that they were being "pranked".

Detectives said that they were investigating after a number of recordings were posted on YouTube.

The clips include what is thought to be officers discussing a counter terrorism operation while the hackers listen in.

Another features Trick identifying himself and telling an officer that "knowledge is power", before adding: "We embarrass governments and f**k the police."

Trick, who is said to be a 17-year-old who founded TeaMp0isoN in 2010, emailed the PA to claim that the calls were taken by MI6.

However, PA believes that they were actually picked up by the Metropolitan Police's Anti-Terrorist Hotline.

The teenager claimed that bypassing the outdated technology used by authorities was "easy".

"The phone denial of service was done via a custom script for Asterisk which was installed on an overseas server," he told PA.

"The conversation was tapped into via a private phreaking method, their phone system is old and we found a way to get in via a basic but private phreaking technique."

In a statement, police said that they have launched an investigation into the hacking attack.

"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," the statement said.

"In addition, recordings have been made of conversations between Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Anti-Terrorist Hotline staff. The MPS has launched an investigation into this matter which is being led by the Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU).

"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."

TeaMp0isoN has previously been linked to alleged hacking attempts on Facebook and a former staff member of Tony Blair.

No arrests have been made so far.

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