‘Please ignore tweets by the Metropolitan Police until we get our account back’: Hackers break into the Met’s Twitter and unleash a stream of obscenities
- Scotland Yard lost control of its official Twitter and press office email account
- Cyber criminals targeted the Metropolitan Police shortly before midnight
- Officials tried to delete the messages as soon as they were sent out last night
- Superintendent Roy Smith advised the public to ignore the messages
Published: 18:47 EDT, 19 July 2019 | Updated: 03:50 EDT, 20 July 2019
The Metropolitan Police’s computer system was hacked in a late-night attack.
Scotland Yard admitted they lost control of their press office email and twitter feed and advised members of the public to ignore any messages until they had it back under control.
Shortly after 11pm yesterday, the press office’s email system began sending out a string of increasingly bizarre and abusive messages.
Tweets from the Metropolitan Polices account, which is often used to update the public on ongoing policing matters, read ‘F*** the police’.
Other tweets seemed to take aim at individuals, with one reading: ‘We are the police… Cal and Dylan are gay btw.’
The Metropolitan Police lost control of their Twitter feed before midnight last night
Superintendent Roy Smith of the Metropolitan Police advised members of the public to ignore the official Scotland Yard twitter account until it was brought back under control
Some tweets targeted ongoing policing matters and called for the release of Drill rap artist Digga D.
Digga D, 18, whose real name is Rhys Herbert, was jailed and banned from making violent videos after he was caught with a gang carrying machetes and baseball bats on the way to attack a rival gang in 2017.
Attackers also managed to hack the Metropolitan Police’s website as they were able to send ‘test’ press releases.
Some tweets targeted ongoing policing matters and called for the release of Drill rap artist Digga D
The cyber criminals mocked the Metropolitan Police after hacking their computer system
One, titled ‘Free Digga D’, said: ‘We aim to make London the sagest global city. Be the best crime-fighters by any measure.
‘Earn the trust and confidence of every community; Take pride in the quality of our service; so people love, respect and are proud of London’s Met’.
The posts also linked to press releases regarding the rapper and an apparently missing child.
Several other messages included abusive content.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed they had been hacked, although were unable to confirm the extent of the attack.
Dozens of nonsense messages were sent out over the period of about 30 minutes
For 30 minutes, the Met’s Twitter feed and email system spewed nonsense messages
Scotland Yard’s Twitter feed has more than 1.2 million followers who were bombarded with a series of increasingly bizarre messages.
It is believed the cyber criminals got access to the Met’s ‘MyNewsdesk’ application, which automatically pushes messages out across email and their twitter feeds.
A Scotland Yard superintendent said the Met’s official account has ‘been subject to unauthorised access’.
Superintendent Roy Smith tweeted: ‘… Our media team are working hard to delete the messages and ensure the security of the account. Please ignore any Tweets until we verify that it is back under official control.’
The cyber attack quickly gained traction among social media users – who found it hilarious
The Metropolitan Police’s email system, Twitter feed and website has been hacked in a late-night cyber attack
In a statement issued some two hours after the hack, Scotland Yard said: ‘The Met Police Press Bureau uses an online provider called MyNewsDesk to issue news releases and other content.
‘When a story is published via MyNewsDesk, it appears on the Met’s website and Twitter accounts and generates an email to those who’ve subscribed to receive our news updates.
‘Last night, Friday 19 July, unauthorised messages appeared on the news section of our website as well as on the @metpoliceuk Twitter feed and in emails sent to subscribers.
‘While we are still working to establish exactly what happened, we have begun making changes to our access arrangements to MyNewsDesk.
‘We apologise to our subscribers and followers for the messages they have received.
‘At this stage, we are confident the only security issue relates to access to our MyNewsDesk account. There has been no “hack” of the Met Police’s own IT infrastructure. We are assessing to establish what criminal offences have been committed.’