back to article Two teens cuffed after Blighty's anti-terror hotline hacked

Two teenagers have been arrested after hackers attacked Scotland Yard’s anti-terror hotline, eavesdropped on a conversation between officials and uploaded a recording to the internet. The two males, aged 16 and 17, were cuffed in the West Midlands by cops from the Police Central e-Crime Unit. A Scotland Yard spokesman said the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anti-terror hotline

    Never heard of it but it makes the mind boggle why one should be needed and who would use it.

    Are they sure they didn't DOS themselves by eavesdropping in on one of their own calls and entering an infinite loop?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anti-terror hotline

      The governement launches attacks on our free speech so it's no surprise that some people want to block their speech in return. Seems fair to me.

      Government makes people the enemy, you can't blame the people for disrupting the communications of their enemy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anti-terror hotline

        Anti-terrorism and free speech has no relationship. The former relates to stopping terrorist attacks. Terrorist attacks do happen, and it was the people who asked the question how our governments allowed it to happen.

    2. Keep Refrigerated

      Re: Anti-terror hotline

      It's to report bearded people holding cameras, going by the poster campaign.

      1. unwarranted triumphalism
        Thumb Down

        Re: Anti-terror hotline

        Maybe you'll be dismissing a terrorist attack in the same glib manner. Or maybe not.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Anti-terror hotline

          Funny how we kept calm and carried on when there were regular actual explosions, shootings and murders undertaken by terrorist organisations in this country*, yet ever since a single event we are supposed to be really scared?

          *Mostly financed by US citizens. '9/11' pretty much stopped the money, so we are actually safer now.

        2. Intractable Potsherd
          Thumb Down

          @unwarranted triumphalism

          The only reason I worry about "terrorist" activity is because I know the government of the day is going to leverage it into taking away more liberties from the population. The terror comes from the response, not the activity.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anti-terror hotline

        You should report cameras as well as the neighbor who keeps his curtains down during the day, leaves alone and has other male guests visiting him. This is according to the police radio advert.

        I chocked on my coffee hearing that one as it was literally repeating the public service announcements from radio Moscow during the darkest days of Stalin's reign.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What no extradition? - I'm shocked.

    At some point they will no doubt say that the offenders 'spoke in an American accent', or 'came from Birmingham, which is also the name of a town in the US', or 'had something American in their homes', or 'Used computers made by an American firm'.....

    Either way there will be some grounds found for the US to request extradition - even if it is just that they were thinking of having a holiday in Florida at some point in the distant future and did a google search for DisneyWorld (tm).

    Cynical....me?

    1. JohnG

      Re: What no extradition? - I'm shocked.

      If they did sit in on that teleconference with the FBI and if the conference server happens to be in the USA or at a US embassy, then they are probably f*cked - unless they have Asperger's syndrome.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hackers?

    Surely you jest. These are just skiddies (script kiddies)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hackers?

      Not even that.

      As I understand it, all they did was record the phone conversation from their end. Not exactly hacking by any stretch of the imagination

  4. Ru
    Paris Hilton

    "a robot voice which said 'teamp0ison'."

    I'm intrigued; how was the '0' pronounced?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "a robot voice which said 'teamp0ison'."

      In the sane way umlauts in heavy rock bands names are pronounced I imagine.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "a robot voice which said 'teamp0ison'."

      p0ison is pronounced the same as poussin, a small young chicken.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poussin_%28chicken%29

    3. dotdavid
      Thumb Up

      Re: "a robot voice which said 'teamp0ison'."

      Cut to MSM news presenter trying to say it on TV;

      "...a robot voice which said Team, er... pee zero eye-son"

  5. Crisp

    Fantastic work by the boys in blue

    The men from Scotland Yard have rounded up a couple of boys making prank phone calls.

    I'll sleep better in my bed tonight!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The script is based on the Asterisk software and uses a SIP protocol to phone,"

    Lets see how difficult that is:

    1. Create a text file with a line in it like this:

    Channel: SIP/trunk/<number to dial>

    2. Add more lines that tell it what application to run when call answered.

    3. Copy file into asterisk's outgoing spool directory

    4. Wait a short while

    5. Goto 3

    To summarise, all this dick did was create a text file and copy into a spool directory. His script did not implement the SIP protocol.

    1. I'm Brian and so's my wife

      6. ...

      7. PROFIT?

    2. DJ Smiley
      Facepalm

      You missed the bit about hacking into the server in mayalisa, but of course that would make your point rather pointless eh?

      Of course my speeling is wrong, I went to the same place that can say "p0ison" without sounding too strange.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > You missed the bit....

        No I didn't. There was no creative effort required for them to hack into the server. There are freely available scripts/programs on the internet that you can use to "hack" into an unpatched, unsecured Asterisk PBX. I was simply pointing out that the only creative bit they did is a trivial task that does not require a great deal of skill.

  7. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    WTF?

    How did they hack the follow on call?

    Not convinced by Scotland Yards denial. I can only think of a limited number of ways to eavesdrop on that follow on conversation.

    1. Bug one of the end points (as SY seem to be stating) colour me dubious.

    2. If it was a Conf Call - get the joining code and lurk.

    3. Actually compromise the system (ie force a conf call)

    2 looks the most likely - although that atleast means an email addy or pc is compromised.

    3 Looks next likely.

    1. Looks less likely - these unless it was all VOIP. These are skiddies not MI5.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How did they hack the follow on call?

      From the BBC:

      "Scotland Yard's Central e-Crime Unit has said it is aware hoaxers made calls to the hotline and recorded their conversations with staff."

      In other words they recorded their own conversation.

  8. JimC
    Facepalm

    > How did they hack the follow on call

    You're missing the most obvious option of all: that its a fake.

  9. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    16 and 17?

    When I were 16 I was far too occupied trying to cop a sly look at a Razzle mag down at the local paper shop.

    The kids today, eh?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 16 and 17?

      Indeed. I remember the days when Fiesta wasn't just a model of Ford.

  10. Volvic

    The FBI/UK police call..

    ...wasn't access to that found to have been deliberately leaked to Lulzsec via Sabu The Informer?

  11. Drem
    Big Brother

    Interesting.

    Compare

    "Two teenagers have been arrested after hackers attacked Scotland Yard’s anti-terror hotline, eavesdropped on a conversation between officials and uploaded a recording to the internet"

    with

    "We have throughout the day researched the allegation that the Anti-Terrorist Hotline had been ‘hacked’ and ‘activists’ claims that they were able to listen unrestricted to confidential communications. We are confident the MPS communication systems have not been breached and remain, as they always have been, secure."

    So, two kids have been arrested for something that the police are saying didn't happen?

    Something happened. But I don't for a moment think that we have anywhere near the whole story here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting.

      I agree, something happened, but I wouldn't get too flustered about the apparent contradiction in the reports.

      First, the reports are from different sources,

      Second, these young lads were arrested on suspicion of offences under the communications and computer misuse acts. You don't get arrested for doing something, it is always on suspicion of doing something. The police then investigate and where necessary charge you and then present evidence to a court. It is for a courts to decide if they actually did what they say they did.

      I know that might sound like pendantry, and it is: but it is also an important point that many people often forget.

      So, reports say they were arrested for phreaking, but in fact they have been arrested to enable the investigation of an alleged offence. Next Scotland Yard say their systems are intact (maybe they are or maybe they are like Swiss cheese doesn't matter). The point is that the second statement is part of the reaction to whatever happened, not part of the arrest.

    2. DJ Smiley
      Facepalm

      Re: Interesting.

      They were arrested for spamming with calls. This happened, its quite simple but they hacked a server in a remote place beinging with M - I wonder if they'll get extradited there instead? ;)

  12. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    'Teens'? WTF This ain't the 51st State yet...

    Come on El Reg. 'Teens' is totally American. Can we please have the headlines in something approaching proper English?

    Don't even get me going on that silly thing called 'My Bad'. That is typical meaningless Amercianese.

    1. dotdavid
      Facepalm

      Re: 'Teens'? WTF This ain't the 51st State yet...

      Why do half the grammar nazis around seem to think anything they don't like must be American? Half of "Americanese" is basically English as spoken around the time mass immigration to the New World from Europe was taking place anyway.

      See, for example, "sidewalk";

      http://separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/pavement-sidewalk-and-stuff-thereof.html

      1. dotdavid
        Headmaster

        Re: 'Teens'? WTF This ain't the 51st State yet...

        Downvotes... note to self, don't go on a forum known for grammar nazis and moan about grammar nazis ;-)

        1. Graham Marsden
          Boffin

          Re: 'Teens'? WTF This ain't the 51st State yet...

          @dotdavid: Probably most of them haven't heard James D Nicol's famous quote about the purity of the English language...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Every time they picked up the phone the server would play a robot voice which said 'teamp0ison'."

    They should have asked if they stocked Battletoads.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coffee/keyboard

      eltiT

      Now that WOULD have been funny.

  14. Pen-y-gors

    >TeaMp0isoN's phone-bombing exercise flooded the anti-terror hotline with bogus calls, preventing genuine callers from getting through.

    Anyone know how many 'genuine callers' they get on the hotline?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm guessing....

      Some number rapidly approaching zero.

    2. LinkOfHyrule
      Big Brother

      I heard that the pizza delivery bloke couldn't get through - he couldn't find the office and needed to call back for directions so sadly one perfectly good stuffed crust peperoni with extra cheese has gone to waste thanks to teampoison - not to mention the poor terror call centre workers had to make do with a pot-noodle for their lunch!

      This sort of chaos never happened to the cones hotline back in the day!

  15. Wupspups

    Hardly a barrage of calls

    "We have had about 700 calls over the last couple of nights."

    So call that 48 hour period for the sake of argument. I work that out to be a call about every 4 minutes 7 seconds. Not exactly a barrage of calls. Even if it was only a 12 hour period that would be a call every minute. Shouldnt be a problem with a line that gets routed to multiple operators or recording machines. Maybe a problem if its an unshared line with a single op or more likely a single recording device.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time for a lesson in reality

    Five years in prison should send a message to these yoof that there are consequences for their actions.

    1. Tim #3

      Re: Time for a lesson in reality

      According to a brief bit of research, it cost us taxpayers £140k to imprison a young offender for a year. Which is a bit more than the 30p that the Met and the lot that were hacked in Febs conference call fiasco seem to be spending on their own security.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Time for a lesson in reality

        I agree, shoot the bastards and save some money. Prison is too good for them.

  17. Phil Endecott

    Left the phone off the hook?

    Here's my theory: because of the fake calls, they would leave the phone off the hook. But the caller was recording, and picked up background chat.

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT)
      Thumb Up

      Re: Left the phone off the hook?

      I can see that actually. It says they only posted an extract of the conversation, so is it so unlikely that the conversation went something like:

      Voice 1: "Why has that phone been left off the hook?"

      Voice 2: "We have been subjected to a barrage of calls from a group called Team Poison, we have had about 700 calls over the last couple of nights."

  18. Keep Refrigerated

    The public can remain confident...

    "...in the ability to communicate in confidence and that the integrity of the Anti-Terrorist Hotline remains in place."

    Also, we would like to confirm that the Emperor is still wearing his fine new clothes.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How's that denial working for Anonymous?

    Another day and more arrests of Anonymous folks who don't appear to be that anonymous at all.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trick, along with a couple other poison members, used to post on a forum I frequent before he got banned.

    Quote, "[I] banned him cause he's a fucking idiot".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Confirmation of same

      Aren't all Anon members who have been caught?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Confirmation of same

        Aren't all Anon members who have been caught?

        There, fixed it for you.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Extradite the bastards

    Now if they had really wanted to screw things up they would have DOs'd the Cones Hotline instead - that probably gets more calls.

    Given that they were using telephones, computers, 1's, 0's, English words and were breathing air (all invented in the USA) any UK judge will surely find that these are reasonable grounds to extradite them for execution by waterboarding.

  22. Peter Johnstone
    Joke

    It's finally dawned on me

    This extradition nonsense is just a cover up; It's a new way of exporting our crims to the colonies. The US of A is the new Australia!

    1. P. Lee
      Trollface

      Re: It's finally dawned on me

      <Darth Voice>

      And so the circle is complete. We sent the Rebels^H^H^H^H^Hcriminals to America, then Australia and now, we send them to America again.

      I laugh at your puny stories of Puritans and Mayflowers, but I admire the way you manipulate the truth for your own purposes.

      </Darth Voice>

      Its just a shame we can't send some people who are actually a danger to society.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a bunch of childish amateurs

    Disgraceful

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I doubt the U.S. wants more crims

    A few years in the Iron Bar Hotel will do these morons good.

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