Feeds

Whale rescue hotline hacked

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.