BlackBerry Blog hacked for helping police quell riots

The attack was spurred by RIM's reaction to reports that BlackBerrys were being used by London rioters to orchestrate actions

Hackers defaced the official Blackberry Blog today in retaliation for Research In Motion's pledge to assist police "in any way we can" in their efforts to quell the riots in London in recent days.

After vandalizing the BlackBerry blog website, the hackers, who call themselves TeaMp0isoN, posted to the Internet an open letter to RIM, which makes BlackBerry smartphones, explaining the motivation behind their actions.

[Related story: Londoners Take to Social Media Outlets During and After the Riots]

"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," they wrote unfettered by rules of grammar and punctuation, "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," the hackers threatened. "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...," they continued, "do you really want a bunch of angry youths on your employees doorsteps?"

The attack on the BlackBerry blog was spurred by RIM's reaction to reports that BlackBerrys were being used by rioters to orchestrate their activities. "It seems that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is the perfect instant messaging tool for rioters, given that it's free to use (unlike text messages), and you can instantly see when someone has read a message," the UK edition of The Next Web noted.

"Also," it added, "whilst Twitter is very much a public platform, BBM can be used to communicate between groups in private."

In light of evidence that its hardware may be being used by rioters, RIM, which has shown in the past strong resistance to government authorities interfering with its customers' privacy, told the world through Twitter that it was going to cooperate with law enforcement authorities. "We feel for those impacted by the riots in London" it tweeted. "We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can."

That ambiguous statement was later refined in a statement by Patrick Spence, RIM's managing director for global sales and regional marketing. "As in all markets around the world where BlackBerry is available, we cooperate with local telecommunications operators, law enforcement and regulatory officials," he 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."

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags research in motionsecurityRIM BlackBerry

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John P. Mello Jr.

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?