Scottish Teens Charged With Met Police Hack

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Two Scottish teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of hacking and defacing a news platform used by London’s Metropolitan Police earlier this year.

An 18-year-old from Lossiemouth near Inverness and a 19-year-old from Glasgow were charged by Scottish police, according to the BBC.

The July attack compromised the Met’s Mynewsdesk platform and allowed the hackers to post a string of offensive and often bizarre messages to the police force’s Twitter feed, as well as emails sent to subscribers and a micro-site.

The Twitter account, which has over one million subscribers, was hijacked to post messages including: “F*** THE POLICE FREE DA GANG!!,” “what you gonna do phone the police?,” and “XEON IS THE BEST FIGHTER IN SCOTLAND.”

At the time, right-wing commentator Katie Hopkins jumped on the news to claim the police force had not only “lost control of London streets” but also "lost control of their Twitter account too.”

Shortly after, Donald Trump retweeted her comments to continue his spat with London mayor Sadiq Khan, claiming: “With the incompetent Mayor of London, you will never have safe streets.”

“Two men, aged 18 and 19, from the Lossiemouth and Glasgow areas respectively, have been arrested and charged in connection with unauthorized access and publication of content on the Metropolitan Police Service's news platform on Friday 19 July 2019,” a Police Scotland spokesperson told the British broadcaster.

“A report will be submitted to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.”

It’s unclear how the account was remotely compromised, although the obvious culprit would be easy-to-guess or crack passwords.

At the time of the initial incident, security experts urged organizations to improve login security and for IT to communicate the implications of neglecting such processes to regular users who may be in charge of public-facing accounts.

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