Feeds

Whale rescue hotline hacked

45-ton mother and calf 'put down', trolls falsely claim

Reducing security risks from open source software

Even a pair of stranded whales and the legions of people dedicated to saving them aren't safe from trolls, it seems.

A telephone hotline established to allow individuals to leave comments about the two whales, which were stranded in California's Sacramento River, was breached by unknown trouble makers, who left an outgoing message falsely claiming authorities exterminated the humpback whale and her calf.

Due to lawsuits, a week-long rescue effort that captured international attention had been stopped and the injured whales were "put down to ease their suffering," a male voice told callers who dialed in to the hotline.

The information is entirely incorrect, a US Coast Guard spokesman said in news reports. The 45-ton mother and calf, dubbed Delta and Dawn, are believed to have passed through San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge into the Pacific, where their chances of survival are much higher.

The whales were believed to have been injured after being struck by a boat propeller. They showed signs of distress and lethargy during the seven days they spent meandering the river, and marine biologists worried their exposure to fresh water was preventing their wounds from healing. Rescuers used recordings of whales and water streams from fire boats in an attempt to coax the leviathans back into salt water.

Coast Guard officials say they received more than 2,200 comments from the public through the hotline and an accompanying email address. As of Thursday, the number was not operational. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.