BlackBerry blog hacked after RIM helps police in London riots
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Research In Motion’s Inside BlackBerry blog was hacked on Tuesday after the Canadian smartphone maker said it would cooperate with London police who are investigating the role of BlackBerry users in the city’s last three days of riots.
In a message on Twitter on Monday, RIM said that the company feels ‘for those impacted by the riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can.’
That decision didn’t sit well with a hacking group going by the name TeamPoison, which claimed responsibility for hacking into the BlackBerry blog and posting its logo and a statement condemning RIM’s cooperation with police who’re looking to track those who took part in the riots and used BlackBerry Messenger as a way to communicate.
BlackBerry Messenger has reportedly become a favored mode of communication in the London riots since the service is private, pin-code protected and can only send messages between BlackBerry phones. Twitter too is also reportedly being used widely by rioters.
Jonathan H Fisher, a Twitter user, published a screenshot of the blog hacked and published it on the social networking service, which can be seen in the image above.
The statement published during the hack of the Inside BlackBerry blog read partly as a plea to RIM to stop working with police and partly a threat against the company if it continues its cooperation:
Dear RIM, You Will _NOT_ assist the UK Police because if u do innocent members of the public who were at the wrong place at the wrong time and owned a blackberry will get charged for no reason at all, the Police are looking to arrest as many people as possible to save themselves from embarrassment…. if you do assist the police by giving them chat logs, gps locations, customer information & access to peoples BlackBerryMessengers you will regret it, we have access to your database which includes your employees information; e.g – Addresses, Names, Phone Numbers etc. – now if u assist the police, we _WILL_ make this information public and pass it onto rioters…. do you really want a bunch of angry youths on your employees doorsteps? Think about it…. and don’t think that the police will protect your employees, the police can’t protect themselves let alone protect others….. if you make the wrong choice your database will be made public, save yourself the embarrassment and make the right choice. don’ be a puppet..
TeamPoison then went on to state that it didn’t stand behind the riots, except for the parts in which civilians fight with law enforcement:
p.s – we do not condone in innocent people being attacked in these riots nor do we condone in small businesses being looted, but we are all for the rioters that are engaging in attacks on the police and government…. and before anyone says ‘the blackberry employees are innocent’ no they are not! They are the ones that would be assisting the police.
Officials at RIM were unavailable for comment on the hacking, but the RIM blog wasn’t available for much of the morning, although the blog currently seems to be back up and running.
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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles