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Tyneside police website defaced, used to serve phish

Tunisian conflict spills over into Newcastle

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Northumbria Police Authority woke up to a host of security problems after the August bank holiday weekend.

Not only was the UK police regulation authority defaced by a foul-mouthed Tunisian hacker, who made reference to the Anonymous hacking collective, but the law-enforcement authority was placed in the more serious position of playing host to a PayPal phishing page.

The defacement stated: "The Northumbria Police Authority website was hacked by lamine Foued ( Dr.F0u3D). F*ck You admin. Freedom For T.H.T Anonymous Tunisia :D."

As GFI Software notes, even after the defacement had been cleaned up, Northumbria Police Authority's server was still being used to host a PayPal phishing page. Low-level crooks behind this type of scam often use resources on legitimate servers. The incident is nonetheless more than a little embarrassing for the police authority, a civilian body that oversees the activities of local police in the area around Newcastle upon Tyne.

Chris Boyd of GFI Software has reported the PayPal phish to police-service web admins, who would be well advised to give the site a once-over for any further (as yet unidentified) problems. The incident illustrates that as well as opening the door to digital graffiti artists, website vulnerabilities also create a means for miscreants to mount more troublesome attacks. ®

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