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Increase seen in hacking attempts on LAPD computers, website

December 7, 2011 | 10:28 am

Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles police say there has been a recent upswing in attempts to hack into the department's computers and website.

The attempts have all been unsuccessful, officials said, and they do not believe a hacker is responsible for the posting of personal information about more than two dozen members of LAPD's command staff.

Sgt. Frank Preciado, who oversees the LAPD's online unit, said most of the attacks on department servers have come in the form of attempts to hack into, slow or lock up the department's public website. As for personal information, Preciado said "they [computer hackers] would find zero other than names and email addresses."

Police have been on alert since last month, when the Internet hacking group Anonymous posted an online video listing the personal contact information -- including the home address, home telephone and cellphone numbers and email address-- of the UC Davis police officer who pepper-sprayed student protesters.

Members of Anonymous advocate for civil disobedience by hacking into computer systems and releasing private and classified information. In the video, the mysterious group directly addresses the UC Davis officer, telling him to "expect our wrath" and threatening "We are going to make you squeal" as the viral video of him pepper-spraying passive protesters plays in the background.

In August, the group launched attacks against the websites of the Fullerton Police Department and the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in response to the deaths of two men in confrontations with the agencies.

LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said it was not immediately clear whether the LAPD-related postings, which were discovered by the department Monday, or the hacking attempts were related to Anonymous and anger over the LAPD's operation involving Occupy L.A.

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-- Andrew Blankstein
twitter.com/anblanx

Photo: Police said there has been an increase in attempts to hack into LAPD computers. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

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