BlackBerry blog hacked after London riots

Filed Under: BlackBerry, Featured, Law & order, Mobile, Vulnerability

London riotsLondon and other cities in the United Kingdom have been hit by riots for the last few days.

Many of those responsible for the looting, arson and rioting which has hit British streets are believed to be teenagers, and the BlackBerry Messenger service (BBM for short) is believed to have played a key role in assisting rioters organise their activities.

Unlike systems like Twitter where messages are searchable by the public, BBM is a closed system which makes it easy for users to secretly send one-to-many messages to their contacts, instantly and with no cost.

Its low price compared to Android and iPhone smartphones and the BBM technology has helped make the BlackBerry a popular choice amongst British teenagers. According to Ofcom, an astonishing 37% of British teenagers have a BlackBerry.

So, maybe it's no surprise that some people don't like to read that RIM, the company behind BlackBerry, plans to assist the Metropolitan Police with their investigation or news reports that a BlackBerry messenger "curfew" may be introduced to interfere with rioting.

This afternoon, BlackBerry's official blog was hacked, and a message posted by "TriCk - TeaMp0isoN".

Defaced BlackBerry blog

Part of the message, which threatened to release details of RIM employees, reads:

Dear Rim;
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, 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, 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... do you really want a bunch of angry youths on your employees doorsteps? Think about it... and don’t think that the police will protect your employees, the police can’t protect themselves let alone protect others.... if you make the wrong choice your database will be made public, save yourself the embarrassment and make the right choice. don’t be a puppet..

p.s - we do not condone in innocent people being attacked in these riots nor do we condone in small businesses being looted, but we are all for the rioters that are engaging in attacks on the police and government... and before anyone says "the blackberry employees are innocent" no they are not! They are the ones that would be assisting the police

- TriCk - TeaMp0isoN -

It's not clear at this point whether the hackers managed to post on BlackBerry's blog because of a software vulnerability, or because one of their administrators had his password cracked.

Although there may be questions asked as to whether the British police have enough resources to control the rioters on London's streets, the people who have hacked the BlackBerry blog might be wise to reminder themselves that the Metropolitan Police has just quadrupled the size of its cybercrime-fighting division.

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15 Responses to BlackBerry blog hacked after London riots

  1. WinterSnow · 1173 days ago

    Wow. If you want to hack into a website without looking like a 5 year old, at least learn spelling and grammar, punks.

    • Very Tricky · 1173 days ago

      ur not to bright are you winter,,, we call this short hand, since there are no rules to grammer here on the wire,,, speaking of wire, you may want to cut yours now.... ;)

      • WinterSnow · 1173 days ago

        Is that a threat? Seriously? *yawn*

      • Bill · 1173 days ago

        Immature, ill-mannered, anti-social, bratty little children.

      • Punk Buster · 1173 days ago

        Very Tricky, what kind of a dumbass are you? There are no rules on the wire? You crack me up. Yes, there are no rules that you have to write like you're not an idiot but that doesn't make Winter "not too bright" for pointing it out. And you somehow want to celebrate stupidity.

        When you move out of the house and start paying your own bills you can act like an authority. Until then STFU.

  2. two cents · 1173 days ago

    wow - that post is just screaming for RIM to help the police... they're trying to blackmail RIM. I may be wrong, but I would think they'd find a way to protect themselves as much as possible as well as get the ones who have done that and try to help protect the general public.

    It's a shame they do not view the employees as innocent - they wouldn't all be involved in helping the police. Apparently, to them, all employees are guilty by association... regardless of job function.

  3. Lynn · 1173 days ago

    Hope they nail these little snots to the wall when they catch them, and they will catch them... in time.

  4. MeSpellGood · 1173 days ago

    It's fairly common for hackers to "assume" poor grammar, spelling etc. in an attempt to further disguise their identities. Looking like a 5 year old when you're 18 might not be a bad thing if you're breaking the law ;)

  5. pr0f · 1173 days ago

    @Very Tricky: You can't excuse your complete lack of a basic understanding of the English language by misusing yet another term, you halfwit.

  6. rEVOLution · 1173 days ago

    If the youth in London would simply attack the proper targets, this media frenzy wouldn't have as much fuel. But when monsters rob an injured teen while pretending to help him, it fuels the media fire. These teens are playing into the hands of Murdoch and his ilk. I'm glad Team Poison (whoever they are) is standing up for these people's right to demonstrate, now I just wish they would demonstrate properly. I haven't heard of a bank, mega-corp, police station, parliamentary building, or anything remotely close to an oppressor being demolished nor demonstrated against. The "youth movement" of London, the English Spring if you will, is seriously disappointing the Americans who will require a lead from across the sea to awaken their own domestic disturbance.

    My message to the London demonstrators: Quit acting like the children and thugs the media wants to portray you as. Organize yourselves, police yourselves. Make specific targets and publish a reason. If you can't do this, your oppressors win. Good luck.

  7. Disgusted · 1173 days ago

    "We have your employees details"... erm, I doubt it. That'll be just a wee bit different to hacking a blog. People with brains don't beat cars with sticks of torch shops with matches...

    Pathetic scum.

    • LivesUnderARock · 1172 days ago

      People with brains can be in favor of total anarchy though.

  8. guest · 1172 days ago

    I fail to understand what assisting the police would make the blackberry employees guilty of... I hardly think that the police are going to go around arresting people simply because they had their blackberry turned on at the time and were in the vicinity of the rioting. We're talking London here, where the police do actually have to follow some laws themselves.

    Clearly there are a lot of people who very much should be arrested - and not just in London. And those who think it is a good idea to threaten people for cooperating with the police are probably in that number.

    There are much better ways to get one's point across than by trying to bully others.

  9. -kg- · 1172 days ago

    Something that "TeaMp0isoN" might want to consider:

    They can hack into RIMs database...OK. Do they seriously think that the cyber crime experts can't hack into it, as well? Do they think they can't hack into "chat logs, gps locations, customer information & access to peoples BlackBerryMessengers" without RIMs assistance? Do they think they're the ONLY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD smart enough to do that?

    I have a News Flash: The people employed by the Cybercrime Division can do that too! They've studied computer sciences in Universities; they've kept up on the latest (it's their job, after all); they've been at it for years longer than you; and they're QUITE GOOD AT IT...that's how they GOT the job in the first place!

    Just sayin'.

  10. Mancmaid · 1172 days ago

    ..
    . This behaviour, being shown around the world, degrades people who have legitimate greivances and need to protest .Here it's more like " I fancy a free upgrade of my blackberry, etc and no matter what the consequences I'm going to take it "
    Nah, sorry this is not good enough reason to be rioting and looting. They should think themselves lucky to be in UK, no matter how bad their lot ,it's not as bad as elsewhere in the world.They live in a democracy which people have died to preserve. They live in a welfare state so none of them are starving. Mindless, greedy, senseless behaviour and, let's be clear here, this is home grown 'terrorism' . Mind you, they're probably all in their pits now having their 'ugly sleep' . Let's hope it rains hard tonight, especially in Manchester - next best thing to water canon. They should be dragged from their beds, given a brush and shovel and made to help clean up their atrocious mess...and wear a high viz jacket with the words 'SELFISH LITTLE SHIT' emblazened across the back.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.