As US cities saw cops fly off the handle at those protesting police brutality and systemic racism over the weekend, drama inevitably spilled into the electronic world, although in unusual ways.
One of the more noteworthy cases was in the city of Chicago. On Saturday night, a mischief-maker broadcast over the frequency Chicago police were using for communications, blaring out the classic NWA track F*ck the police. Below is a tweet of the airwaves hijacking, though be aware it uses strong language.
While the jamming was initially described as a hack, others pointed out the channel used by the Chicago PD was not encrypted or protected, and could easily be broadcast over by anyone with the right equipment.
Elsewhere, it was claimed distributed denial-of-service attacks were launched at the municipal networks of Minneapolis, the city where the protests kicked off following the death of George Floyd under the knee of an officer. These have not been confirmed – and it could be that any disruption was caused by a rush of legit web traffic – though Anonymous accounts claimed credit. Yes, Anon activists are back.
Source says City of Minneapolis networks under ‘substantial cyberattack’— Tony Webster (@webster) May 28, 2020
Anonymous also claims to have stolen and leaked data from the Minneapolis police department, though website security breach expert Troy Hunt is skeptical, saying the spilled info likely came from other sources.
"The data has almost certainly been pulled out of existing data breaches in an attempt to falsely fabricate a new one," says the haveibeenpwned creator.
Finally, there is the city of Dallas, which has seen one of the more eyebrow-raising forms of online protest. Police asked the public to upload videos of protesters via its iWatch Dallas mobile app. Instead, netizens flooded the service with videos of South Korean K-Pop performers.
The video clips and fancam feeds were so numerous that the police were forced to take down the app:
Due to technical difficulties iWatch Dallas app will be down temporarily. pic.twitter.com/zksA1hkVhV— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) May 31, 2020
Netizens are now pointing users toward similar apps in other cities. ®