Herts Police website hacked into by Julian Assange supporter

editorial image

A political leader has called for an independent inquiry after a police website was hacked into by a supporter of Julian Assange.

The hacker published the phone numbers and log-in details of dozens of officers in Herts Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

The person added an ‘OpFreeAssange’ banner to the website along with a quote from the troubled WikiLeaks founder.

Chris White, spokesperson for the Herts Lib Dem Group, said: “The public will rightly be very worried that this could have happened at all in an organisation which should by definition by conscious about security and cybercrime.

“I welcome the fact that there is to be an investigation, but it is vital in these cases that any inquiry is independent and the results - as far as practicable - are made public.

“It is too easy for organisations to give themselves a pat on the back in these circumstances and breathe a complacent sigh of relief.

“The public will need assurance that private data has not been stolen or tampered with and that their communications with the police will not be posted on the internet by misguided Assange supporters.

“They will want to know what precisely is going to be done to make the system safe in future.”

Herts Police said information stored on an externally hosted database had been published on the internet.

In a statement, spokesman Sarah Spence said: “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.

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

“There is absolutely no suggestion that any personal data relating to officers or members of the public has been, or could have been compromised.

“Nevertheless matters of IT security are extremely important to the constabulary and an investigation is already under way.”

The hacker has said he is not a member of Anonymous – which has been responsible for other hacking activities.