Hackers 'eavesdrop on terror line'
A teenager eavesdropped on highly-sensitive police counter-terror conversations after bypassing technology from the 1980s, hackers have claimed.
The leader of an anarchist group known as Team Poison said it was "easy" to drop "a 24-hour phone bomb" on elite security officers.
Scotland Yard is understood to have been hit with more than 700 calls before an American-sounding caller, using the name Trick, told them they were being "pranked".
Detectives said "appropriate action would be taken" as a number of recordings were posted on YouTube by Team Poison. In one of the clips, a man identifying himself as Trick is heard telling an officer: "Knowledge is power... We embarrass governments and f*** the police."
In another recording officers appear to be discussing counter-terror operations while Team Poison listens in. The group - which uses the Twitter name @_TeaMp0isoN - claimed the calls were made to MI6 - but it is understood they were in fact picked up by the Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism command.
Trick, reportedly a 17-year-old who launched Team Poison in 2010, emailed the Press Association, saying the group bypassed outdated technology to compromise a server from Malaysia to record conversations. He wrote: "Yes, it was easy :)"
Trick said: "The phone denial of service was done via a custom script for Asterisk which was installed on an overseas server. The conversation was tapped into via a private phreaking method, their phone system is old and we found a way to get in via basic but private phreaking technique."
A force statement said: "We are aware of an issue whereby hoaxers have made calls to the anti-terrorist hotline and have made recordings of their conversations with anti-terrorist hotline staff. In addition, recordings have been made of conversations between Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Anti-Terrorist Hotline staff.
"The MPS has launched an investigation into this matter which is being led by the Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU). The Anti-Terrorist Hotline remains operational and we continue to urge members of the public to report any suspicious activity to the police. Public reporting is an important part of the fight against terrorism and any attempt to disrupt this service will be investigated thoroughly."
In response to the Scotland Yard statement, @_TeaMp0isoN tweeted: "OH REALLY NOW." The group has been linked to alleged hacking attempts on Facebook and a personal email account linked to a former staff member of ex-PM Tony Blair. Officers have yet to make an arrest.