PoliticoAlbuquerque police under cyberattack
By ASSOCIATED PRESS | 3/30/14 6:10 PM EDT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque Police Department’s website was hit by a cyberattack Sunday, days after threats from a group reported to be the hacker collective Anonymous.
Police spokesman Simon Drobik said in a statement that the site was struck just before 11 a.m. and remained down hours later. The origin of the hacking was not immediately clear, Drobik said.
“We can confirm that the website disruption is due to a cyberattack,” Drobik said. “The APD online site is not connected to any critical services, and IT personnel continue to work around the clock.”
Albuquerque officials said the city also experienced a “temporary, brief disruption” to the city website late Saturday. City spokeswoman Erin Thompson said in the immediate aftermath that officials hadn’t determined the cause of that problem, but a team was monitoring the city’s websites.
Authorities have called Anonymous a loosely organized worldwide hacking group that has stolen confidential information and defaced websites.
The hacking came after a YouTube video posted last week said official sites would be hacked in retaliation for a recent police shooting in the Sandia foothills that left a homeless man dead.
Also Sunday, hundreds of protesters marched past riot police in downtown Albuquerque. The demonstrators arrived at Civic Plaza holding signs protesting recent police shootings, and activists called on various city officials to resign. They marched about 2 miles toward the University of New Mexico.
The March 16 shooting claimed the life of James Boyd, 38.
He died after officers fired stun guns, bean bags and six live rounds. Police said Boyd had threatened to kill officers and held onto knives as an unarmed K-9 officer approached him. The shooting followed a long standoff during which Boyd claimed he was a federal government agent.
The FBI has opened an investigation into the Boyd shooting.
Since 2010, police have been involved in 37 shootings, 23 of them fatal. Critics say that’s far too many for a department serving a city of about 555,000.
The U.S. Department of Justice has also been investigating the department for more than a year over possible civil rights violations and excessive force cases.