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Hackers threaten BlackBerry over London riot pledge

RIM blog hacked in retaliation

Inside BlackBerry, the official BlackBerry Blog, has been targeted by hackers in what appears to be retaliation for RIM revealing it will "assist the authorities" in tracking down rioters that have spread violence across the UK over the past three days.

A blog has been posted on website that reads: "This hack is a response to this statement by RIM". The post then continued with RIM's official response to the use of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

"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 post added.

"The Police are looking to arrest as many people as possible to save themselves from embarrassment."

Riots began in Tottenham on Saturday night following a peaceful protest regarding the Police shooting of Mark Duggan. Since then areas of London and now around the country have been subject to "copycat criminal activity" over the past two days according to the Metropolitan Police.

It is thought many of those involved in the riots that have happened across the UK over the past three days used BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) to organise the uprisings. BBM allows users to send a message to large numbers of contacts that are connected via BBM PINs. Messages sent using BBM are free, instant and in several cases are untraceable by the authorities. It is rumoured that BBM has been used in place of micro-blogging service Twitter and social network Facebook as these are more easily traced.

"As in all markets around the world where BlackBerry is available, we co-operate with local telecommunications operators, law enforcement and regulatory officials," Patrick Spence, managing director of global sales and regional marketing at BlackBerry UK, said.

"Similar to other technology providers in the UK we comply with The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and co-operate fully with the Home Office and UK police forces.

The hackers then went on to threaten RIM in the post to the Inside BlackBerry blog claiming they has access the firm's database of employees information including names and addresses, which it will make public and pass onto rioters.

"If you make the wrong choice your database will be made public, save yourself the embarrassment and make the right choice. Don't be a puppet," the post continued.

The post from the hackers also links to the TeaMp0isoN_ Twitter feed which posted a number of links to the blog and even a message stating "Blackberry Hacked: No Blackberry you will NOT assist the police #TeaMp0isoN".

It also appears BlackBerry attempted to delete the post, as the hackers later said on the same Twitter feed "@UK_BlackBerry tip: deleting posts wont get u far, try find out how we got in and patch ur sh!t, kthxbye".

BlackBerry has yet to respond to a request for comment on the matter.

However, Graham Cluley from security firm Sophos advised the hackers to be wary.

"Although there may be question marks as to whether the British police have enough resources to control the rioters on London's streets, the people who have hacked the BlackBerry blog might be wise to reminder themselves that the Metropolitan Police has just quadrupled the size of its cybercrime-fighting division," he said in a blog.


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