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Hackers attack BlackBerry blog, threaten employees, after RIM agrees to help London police

Rioting in London
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hacker group “TeaMp0isoN” infiltrated the corporate-run Inside BlackBerry blog after Research In Motion publicly agreed to help London law-enforcement authorities track down the people who helped orchestrate the devastating riots that have engulfed parts of London and its surrounding areas for the past three days, reports The Next Web. The hackers also threatened the safety of BlackBerry employees, saying they would turn over stolen personal data to rioters if the company cooperated with police.

In place of the normal blog, which has since been taken offline, TeaMp0isoN posted a statement to RIM, which said that their cooperation with authorities will lead to innocent BlackBerry Messenger users being “charged for no reason at all, [as] the Police are looking to arrest as many people as possible to save themselves from embarrassment.”

The group also said it had access to personal data about RIM employees located in the UK, and warned that it would release this information to the rioters if the company complied with police demands.

The message, in full, 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.

Following the breach of the blog, TeaMp0isoN posted to the group’s Twitter feed, saying repeatedly that they “do not condone” volence towards innocent civilians, “only towards police.”

Yesterday, reports revealed that rioters used BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) to plan the angry demonstrations, which were initially sparked by the controversial police shooting of 29-year-old Mark Duggan, who was an accused drug dealer. Unlike social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, which can be easily monitored by police, BBM is more private, and only works between BlackBerry devices.

After discovering the role its messaging service played in facilitating the riots, RIM told Scotland Yard it would cooperate with its investigation to track down and arrest protesters who posted “inflammatory” messages. Some fear that this means RIM will hand over the identities of BBM users.

According to a report on the matter by the Guardian, RIM can be legally ordered to hand over user data to police, but the Canada-based company says it cannot unscramble the encrypted messages that are sent over BBM, making it nearly impossible to identify the sender.

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Andrew Couts
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Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
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