Two teens held in anti-terror hotline hacking probe

Written on:April 13, 2023
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London Metropolitan Police has arrested two teenagers for apparently making hoax phone calls to the anti-terror hotline, which were also posted on the internet.

Two boys, aged 16 and 17, were arrested from West Midlands and were charged of violating the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and the Computer Misuse Act 2006. Detectives from the Central e-Crime Unit have been quizzing the boys, who are now in police custody in the West Midlands.

London Police arrested the boys after Scotland Yard denied that its computer systems were hacked after a recording emerged of a confidential conversation between counter-terrorism officers. Later, a group called TeaMp0isoN posted a recording of a phone call made to the police’s Anti-Terrorist Hotline on YouTube.

During the call, a teenager questions a male officer if he’d ever heard of TeaMp0isoN. “I’ve heard about TeaMp0isoN, yeah. Correct me if I’m wrong you but do you hack into certain sites, that sort of thing?” the officer replies. When the officer asked him if he was from the UK, the boy replied, “I don’t brush my teeth. I like tea. I’m from the UK.”

But, Scotland Yard director of information Ailsa Beaton maintained that Met’s internal systems were not attacked. “We have throughout the day researched the allegation that the anti-terrorist hotline had been ‘hacked’ and activists’ claims that they were able to listen unrestricted to confidential communications,” she said before the arrests.

“We are satisfied that any recording would have been made via the receiving handset only and not from an attack on internal systems. The public can remain confident in the ability to communicate in confidence and that the integrity of the anti-terrorist hotline remains in place”, she said, insisting that the security has not been breached.

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