Salt lake City police website hacked, shut down

Wednesday , February 01, 2012 - 10:12 AM

Contributed

SALT LAKE CITY-- The Salt Lake City Police Department took its website offline Tuesday after it was hacked by a group protesting a legislative proposal targeting graffiti paraphernalia.

At about 2:30 p.m., officers started seeing information on the site that wasn't "in line with our typical postings," prompting them to shut it down, police spokesman Shawn Josephson said. All employees also changed their passwords.

Police said a loosely affiliated group of hackers called "Anonymous" took the credit for the security breach, The Salt Lake Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/xdAnyQ).

The group claimed the attack was a response to an anti-graffiti paraphernalia bill being sponsored by state Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, police said.

The measure, in its amended state, would bar the possession of any instrument, tool or device with the intent of vandalizing an area with graffiti.

The Tribune reported people claiming to be responsible for the hacking criticized the bill on another website, saying it's too broad and would enforce law "based on suspected intent."

Mayne said in a release Tuesday night that the measure, SB 107, is on the Senate floor "and will make its way through the legislative process."

"It is up to the Utah Legislature to determine the fate of this bill," she said.

The department's website was still shut down late Tuesday. Police said they planned to secure the site before bringing it back online. They also said they were investigating the breach and looking into possible charges against the group or individuals involved.

Authorities say "Anonymous" members also took credit earlier this month for attacking the website of the Utah Chiefs of Police, saying they did it to protest the shutdown of a popular file-sharing service. The group also shut down the websites for the U.S. Justice Department and music companies.

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