'F--- THE POLICE FREE DA GANG!!': Hackers broke into the London police's Twitter account and posted a series of strange and offensive messages

Met Police twitter hackA screenshot shows one of the now deleted tweets sent by hackers from the Metropolitan Police's account.Screenshot/Twitter/Metropolitan Police

  • Hackers broke into the Twitter and blogging systems of London's Metropolitan Police Friday night, publishing a series of strange and offensive messages.
  • At around 11.15 p.m. local time (6.15 p.m. ET) messages started appearing on both the police force's Twitter account and its website.
  • Some of the messages were offensive, including one which said: "FUCK THE POLICE FREE THE GANG!!" followed by the hashtag #CHUCKLING HELLA.
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Hackers broke into the Twitter and blogging systems of London's Metropolitan Police Friday night, publishing a series of strange and offensive messages.

At around 11.15 p.m. local time (6.15 p.m. ET) messages started appearing on both the police force's Twitter account and its website.

Some of the messages were offensive, including one which said: "FUCK THE POLICE FREE THE GANG!!" followed by the hashtag #CHUCKLING HELLA.

Another message included reference to British dril artist Digga D. "FREE DIGGA D ON FOENEM GANG," it said.

One message even mocked the Metropolitan police, asking: "what you gonna do phone the police?"

All the messages have since been deleted, but many Twitter users were able to take screenshots. The following screenshots were published by Buzzfeed reporter Hannah Al-Othman.

 

The Twitter account has around 1.2 million followers, and is a key communication tool for the police force, which uses it to provide updates on ongoing crimes and investigations. 

Read more: YouTube deleted 130 rap videos to help police fight street gangs responsible for thousands of stabbings

The Metropolitan Police said that hackers were able to send the tweets and messages on its website after gaining access to a service called MyNewsDesk, which the police force uses to issue online press releases and tweets.

"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," the police force said in a statement posted after the hack was over.

London policePolice constables Ben Sinclair and Karen Spencer pose for a photograph wearing their Metropolitan Police beat uniforms, in London, October 9, 2014.Paul Hackett/Reuters

"While we are still working to establish exactly what happened, we have begun making changes to our access arrangements to MyNewsDesk," it said. "We apologise to our subscribers and followers for the messages they have received."

The statement went on to say that the Met Police's IT system itself was not hacked, and the only breach was related to its MyNewsDesk account.

It added that police are currently "assessing to establish what criminal offences have been committed."

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