Snitches Exposed Across The United States As Hackers Target Law Enforcement Websites Worldwide

February 4, 2012

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – Saboteurs stole passwords and sensitive information on tipsters while hacking into the websites of several law enforcement agencies worldwide in attacks attributed to the collective known as Anonymous.

Breaches were reported this week in Boston, Syracuse, N.Y., Salt Lake City and Greece.

Hackers gained access to the Salt Lake City Police Department website that gathers citizen complaints about drug and other crimes, including phone numbers, addresses and other personal data of informants, police said.

The website remained down Friday as police worked to make it more secure.

Boston Police Department’s website was hacked Friday morning by the group, which claimed retaliation for police action during the Occupy Boston eviction.

The hackers posted a music video by 80s rapper KRS-One on the website with a message that threatened “more mayhem.”

Friday’s incident was the second time BPD had been hacked. Hackers referenced the initial cyber attack in their statement on bpdnews.com.

“They clearly ignored our warnings, because not only did they raid the camp again and kicked protesters off of public parks, but they also sent undercover TSA agents to assualt (sic) and attempt to steal from some organizers,” a message read.

Boston police evicted Occupy protesters from Dewey Square back in December after the movement sued for a permanent injunction against the city and lost in court.

Forty-six people were arrested during that eviction.

Boston police issued a statement acknowledging the site had been hacked, saying they were working on fixing the problem.

“It is unfortunate that someone would go to this extent to compromise BPDNews.com, a helpful and informative public safety resource utilized daily by community members seeking up-to-date news and information about important safety matters,” a police spokesperson said.

Computer security experts are not surprised.

“There’s no such thing as an un-hackable website,” says Tim Lasonde, the president of Boston-based NSK, inc., an information technology company. “Vulnerabilities that get exploited have been around forever and there always will be those vulnerabilities.”

Boston Police have an active online presence. They say they have more Twitter followers than any police department in the world. They have the oldest police blog in the country, founded in 2005, and it gets up to 90,000 hits a month. Those factors may have made this department a more attractive target.

Anonymous is a collection of Internet enthusiasts, pranksters and activists whose targets have included financial institutions such as Visa and MasterCard, the Church of Scientology and law enforcement agencies.

Following a spate of arrests across the world, the group and its various offshoots have focused their attention on law enforcement agencies in general and the FBI in particular.

The group also claimed responsibility for recently hacking the website of a Virginia law firm that represented a U.S. Marine involved in the deaths of civilians in Iraq in 2005.

Anonymous also published a recording on the internet Friday of a phone call between the FBI and Scotland Yard, gloating in a Twitter message that, “the FBI might be curious how we’re able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now.”

In Greece, the Justice Ministry took down its site Friday after a video by activists claiming to be Greek and Cypriot members of Anonymous was displayed for at least two hours.

Salt Lake City authorities continued their investigation and said criminal charges were being considered.

Police said the group Anonymous had taken credit for the attack through local media but hadn’t contacted the department directly.

The hackers claim to have targeted the site in opposition to an anti-graffiti paraphernalia bill that eventually failed in the state Senate. The bill would have made it illegal to possess any instrument, tool or device with the intent of vandalizing an area with graffiti.

Salt Lake City police Detective Josh Ashdown downplayed any danger to citizens.

He said the department’s website is used by residents to report crimes or suspicious activity, and that some submit the tips anonymously while others include personal information.

Ashdown said investigators believe the group is bluffing about the extent of the information it got from the website, and he noted authorities didn’t think any of the details would be widely distributed.

He said police don’t have any reason to believe that citizens who reported crimes on the website are going to be targeted specifically.

“Our main concern is for the public not to lose confidence in the department,” Ashdown said.

In New York, Syracuse police said the department website had also been hacked in an attack attributed to Anonymous.

Sgt. Tom Connellan said names and passwords of people authorized to alter the site were stolen earlier this week and posted on Twitter.

No private information about officers or citizens was accessed, he said, though the site remained down Friday while the FBI and state police continued to investigate. In an online post attributed to Anonymous, the group claims to have targeted the Syracuse site for failing to aggressively pursue child abuse allegations against a former assistant basketball coach.

Another incident struck the website of the Alexandria, Va., law firm of Puckett & Faraj, which represented a U.S. Marine convicted of negligent dereliction of duty in a 2005 attack in Iraq that resulted in the deaths of 24 unarmed civilians.

Attorney Neal Puckett did not immediately return a telephone message and email seeking comment Friday.

Appeared Here


Veteran U.S. Federal Bureau Of Prisons Secretary Sentenced To Federal Prison For Sex With Inmate

February 1, 2009

DENVER, COLORADO – A former prison secretary has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for having sex with an inmate she was supposed to be supervising, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Colorado said Friday.

Janine Sligar, 47, of Wray, Colorado, was sentenced Thursday for sexual abuse of a ward. After serving her sentence, she will serve five years of supervised release and must register as a sex offender, spokesman Jeff Dorschner said in a news release.

Sligar, who must surrender to a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons on March 2, did not respond to a telephone call to her home for comment.

She was indicted in July by a federal grand jury in Denver and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in October.

According to the plea agreement, Sligar, a 14-year Bureau of Prisons veteran, said she and inmate Eric McClain met in February 2007, when he was assigned to clean her office.

“They began to have conversations and realized they had similar interests,” the plea agreement said.

That summer, they initiated a sexual relationship that included 10 to 20 sessions of oral sex and sexual intercourse, ending in October 2007, it said.

The liaisons primarily occurred in a staff restroom in the housing unit at the Federal Prison Camp in Florence, Colorado, according to the agreement.

Sligar, who acknowledged having detailed her activities in a journal, said she obtained a cell phone with a non-local phone number so McClain could call her without raising suspicion and admitted she gave him contraband that included photographs with explicit sexual poses, the plea agreement added.

“Defendant also admitted using her cell phone camera to take graphic pictures of a sexual nature which depict defendant and this inmate,” it said.

Authorities began investigating the incident after receiving a tip about the inappropriate relationship. They then learned that Sligar had changed the primary beneficiary on an insurance policy from her children to McClain. A subsequent search of her home turned up the journal and photographs.

Appeared Here


Veteran U.S. Federal Bureau Of Prisons Secretary Sentenced To Federal Prison For Sex With Inmate

February 1, 2009

DENVER, COLORADO – A former prison secretary has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for having sex with an inmate she was supposed to be supervising, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Colorado said Friday.

Janine Sligar, 47, of Wray, Colorado, was sentenced Thursday for sexual abuse of a ward. After serving her sentence, she will serve five years of supervised release and must register as a sex offender, spokesman Jeff Dorschner said in a news release.

Sligar, who must surrender to a facility designated by the Bureau of Prisons on March 2, did not respond to a telephone call to her home for comment.

She was indicted in July by a federal grand jury in Denver and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in October.

According to the plea agreement, Sligar, a 14-year Bureau of Prisons veteran, said she and inmate Eric McClain met in February 2007, when he was assigned to clean her office.

“They began to have conversations and realized they had similar interests,” the plea agreement said.

That summer, they initiated a sexual relationship that included 10 to 20 sessions of oral sex and sexual intercourse, ending in October 2007, it said.

The liaisons primarily occurred in a staff restroom in the housing unit at the Federal Prison Camp in Florence, Colorado, according to the agreement.

Sligar, who acknowledged having detailed her activities in a journal, said she obtained a cell phone with a non-local phone number so McClain could call her without raising suspicion and admitted she gave him contraband that included photographs with explicit sexual poses, the plea agreement added.

“Defendant also admitted using her cell phone camera to take graphic pictures of a sexual nature which depict defendant and this inmate,” it said.

Authorities began investigating the incident after receiving a tip about the inappropriate relationship. They then learned that Sligar had changed the primary beneficiary on an insurance policy from her children to McClain. A subsequent search of her home turned up the journal and photographs.

Appeared Here


Beatings And Paying Off Snitches With Drugs Is The Norm For Chicago Illinois Police Officers

January 27, 2009

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – As if Chicago police need another black eye.

This one could come from a punch extended halfway across the country, from a former Chicago cop who allegedly has been recorded on tape telling students at Colorado State University that beating suspects and paying off informants with drugs is just a way of life for police in “Chi-town.”

Dexter Yarbrough, a former Gresham District community policing officer, allegedly made the remarks to students in 2008 lectures taped by a graduate student, according to the campus student newspaper, The Rocky Mountain Collegian.

Yarbrough, who took a leave of absence from Chicago police in 2000 and officially resigned in 2005, is chief of the Colorado State University Police Department and associate vice president of the Department of Public Safety. He was placed on indefinite paid leave last month “pending the outcome of a personnel investigation,” according to a statement from the university.

The article in the school newspaper details numerous complaints from officers under Yarbrough’s command as well as the recordings made by the graduate student, a former county sheriff’s deputy who thought the chief’s comments were out of line.

Yarbrough allegedly told students that paying informants with drugs was acceptable, as long as the informants never revealed where they got the drugs, and that excessive and violent force against a suspect is a “reality of law enforcement.”

“If there’s a news conference going on, I can’t get in front of a crowd and say, ‘He got exactly what the [expletive] he deserved.’ You know the police should have beat him, you know. I used to beat [expletive] when I was in Chicago too. I can’t say that,” the article quotes a recording of Yarbrough as saying.

“I’d have to say, ‘Well, you know we’re going to have to look into this matter seriously . . . all of our officers, we like to think that they operate with the utmost integrity and ethics’ . . . All of that [expletive] sounds good. That [expletive] sounds real good, but in the back of my mind, damn. He got popped. If he would have done it the way we used to do it in Chi-town, man, none of this [expletive] would have happened.”

For the past year, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis has tried to shake an image of abuse that has plagued the department. And in a statement Friday, Weis pointed to his creation of the Bureau of Professional Standards, which he said is improving officer training, supervision and leadership.

“Dexter Yarbrough is no longer a member of the Chicago Police Department,” the statement said. “Ensuring that the men and women of this department receive the very best training throughout their service career is a priority and we are proud of the hardworking men and women who comprise our ranks . . . Anecdotal stories expressed in a classroom setting are not indicative of the type of work that the majority of our men and women do.”

The university wouldn’t say why it’s investigating Yarbrough, and he couldn’t be reached for comment.

In a posting on the university’s Web site, Yarbrough described himself as a 15-year veteran officer who worked on “important and highly sensitive assignments.”

Chicago police say he was assigned to the Gresham District, most recently as a community policing officer who would have worked closely with residents and represented the department at local beat meetings.

Yarbrough was at some point up for a public safety job at the University of Chicago, the student article reports, but claims he was passed over. The university on Friday wouldn’t comment on whether he was an applicant for any job there.

Appeared Here


Beatings And Paying Off Snitches With Drugs Is The Norm For Chicago Illinois Police Officers

January 27, 2009

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – As if Chicago police need another black eye.

This one could come from a punch extended halfway across the country, from a former Chicago cop who allegedly has been recorded on tape telling students at Colorado State University that beating suspects and paying off informants with drugs is just a way of life for police in “Chi-town.”

Dexter Yarbrough, a former Gresham District community policing officer, allegedly made the remarks to students in 2008 lectures taped by a graduate student, according to the campus student newspaper, The Rocky Mountain Collegian.

Yarbrough, who took a leave of absence from Chicago police in 2000 and officially resigned in 2005, is chief of the Colorado State University Police Department and associate vice president of the Department of Public Safety. He was placed on indefinite paid leave last month “pending the outcome of a personnel investigation,” according to a statement from the university.

The article in the school newspaper details numerous complaints from officers under Yarbrough’s command as well as the recordings made by the graduate student, a former county sheriff’s deputy who thought the chief’s comments were out of line.

Yarbrough allegedly told students that paying informants with drugs was acceptable, as long as the informants never revealed where they got the drugs, and that excessive and violent force against a suspect is a “reality of law enforcement.”

“If there’s a news conference going on, I can’t get in front of a crowd and say, ‘He got exactly what the [expletive] he deserved.’ You know the police should have beat him, you know. I used to beat [expletive] when I was in Chicago too. I can’t say that,” the article quotes a recording of Yarbrough as saying.

“I’d have to say, ‘Well, you know we’re going to have to look into this matter seriously . . . all of our officers, we like to think that they operate with the utmost integrity and ethics’ . . . All of that [expletive] sounds good. That [expletive] sounds real good, but in the back of my mind, damn. He got popped. If he would have done it the way we used to do it in Chi-town, man, none of this [expletive] would have happened.”

For the past year, Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis has tried to shake an image of abuse that has plagued the department. And in a statement Friday, Weis pointed to his creation of the Bureau of Professional Standards, which he said is improving officer training, supervision and leadership.

“Dexter Yarbrough is no longer a member of the Chicago Police Department,” the statement said. “Ensuring that the men and women of this department receive the very best training throughout their service career is a priority and we are proud of the hardworking men and women who comprise our ranks . . . Anecdotal stories expressed in a classroom setting are not indicative of the type of work that the majority of our men and women do.”

The university wouldn’t say why it’s investigating Yarbrough, and he couldn’t be reached for comment.

In a posting on the university’s Web site, Yarbrough described himself as a 15-year veteran officer who worked on “important and highly sensitive assignments.”

Chicago police say he was assigned to the Gresham District, most recently as a community policing officer who would have worked closely with residents and represented the department at local beat meetings.

Yarbrough was at some point up for a public safety job at the University of Chicago, the student article reports, but claims he was passed over. The university on Friday wouldn’t comment on whether he was an applicant for any job there.

Appeared Here