Anonymous says it took down Oakland police, city websites

A protester wearing an Anonymous Guy Fawkes mask takes part in a demonstration against the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
(Janek Garzynski / AFP / Getty Images)

The online hacker collective known as Anonymous seems to have claimed responsibility for a cyberattack that apparently disabled several websites connected to the city of Oakland.

As of 11 a.m., websites belonging to the Oakland police and fire departments, as well as the Oakland City Hall website, were all disabled. Attempts to visit those pages led users to a message saying the website could not be displayed.

Anonymous appeared to take credit for the disabled websites around 10:30 a.m., according to the collective’s main Twitter account.


Karen Boyd, a city spokeswoman, said the website began to experience problems on Tuesday night, and remained down as of 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

City employees are working to restore the websites, but Boyd said the attack has not negatively impacted police activities or city business.

She could not confirm the Anonymous claim of responsibility, and declined to comment further.

Anonymous, the “hacktivist” group best known for sporting Guy Fawkes masks and a public and lengthy feud with the Church of Scientology, has become actively involved in recent demonstrations over a series of controversial killings of unarmed black males by police in New York City, Cleveland, and Ferguson, Mo.

The group began collecting and publishing information about Missouri residents who posted racist screeds on Facebook and Twitter following the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old who was killed by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in August.

The group also began to publicly reveal the identities of Missouri residents who were affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan last month, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.


Nationwide protests followed a grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson in Brown’s killing, and Oakland was home to some of the most violent and destructive in the country. Dozens were arrested while police had to contend with looting, violence and attacks on officers.

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