'Anonymous' hackers target BART, Fullerton police
The hacker-activist group Anonymous threatened cyber attacks against the Fullerton Police Department and the Bay Area Rapid Transit system after controversial police confrontations.
The threat to hack the Fullerton police website was in response to the death of homeless man Kelly Thomas during a confrontation with officers. The city deployed its information technology staff to secure computers and electronic communications and monitor the systems for any intrusions.
"Like most municipalities we are very electronically integrated and have a significant number of computers and computer systems," Fullerton police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich said. "It's definitely something we are taking seriously and doing everything we can to make sure our facilities are secure."
No sabotage or disruptions have been detected, Goodrich said.
The hacker group, however, appeared Sunday to have penetrated MyBART.org, a website run by the San Francisco-area transit agency, adding a link to a Twitter page dedicated to news about Anonymous. The main BART website doesn't appear to be affected.
In a message circulated before the hacking, Anonymous condemned BART's temporary cutoff last week of cellphone service in some of its underground stations amid a protest over the shooting by police of a knife-wielding man on a subway platform. Activists have criticized the cellular cutoff.
"We will set those who have been censored free from their silence," the Anonymous message says. "That's a promise. Anonymous demands that this activity revolving around censorship cease and desist and we know you are already planning to do this again. We will not issue any more warnings."
In a separate statement sent to the Fullerton police and distributed on the Internet, Anonymous said "Operation Fullerton" would avenge the death of Kelly Thomas by treating the department's technology systems "with as much mercy as was shown Kelly Thomas."
"This is not just a brutal attack against another human being, but an attack against human rights," the statement says, demanding the prosecution of the five Fullerton officers reportedly involved in the beating of Thomas during a routine check on a car break-in report.
-- Richard Winton and Shelby Grad
Image: Screenshot of Anonymous YouTube video.