Threat Management, Network Security, Threat Management

‘Anonymous’ claims credit for taking down Atlanta PD website

An apparent tweet from the Anonymous hacking group is claiming credit for perpetrating a cyberattack on the Atlanta police department web site, stating that the act was retaliation for the June 12 fatal police shooting of Rayshard Brooks.

"Atlanta police officers involved in fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks. @Atlanta_Police has been taken #Offline" states a tweet from Anonymous USA (@AnonOpUSA) that was posted at 8:24 a.m. on June 14.

Reportedly, the website was around that time briefly unavailable to visitors, but was back up by 11:30 a.m.

Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, was fatally shot by Atlanta PD officer Garrett Rolfe after he resisted arrest and fired a Taser while fleeing on foot. Captured on video, the killing further stoked tensions between law enforcement and Black Lives Matter activists who have been protesting cases of police brutality, including the May 25 homicide of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis officer who knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.

On May 30, the websites of the city of Minneapolis and its police department were reportedly rendered temporarily inoperable, and the next morning online visitors reportedly were greeted by a “captcha” requirement to verify they weren’t bots.

Those website outages followed a Facebook video threat from an actor claiming to the hacktivist group Anonymous. There has yet to be a confirmed connection, however, between Anonymous and the apparent cyberattacks on Minneapolis institutions.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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