SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A group known as Anonymous claims to have hacked a Sacramento City Hall computer system and posted the addresses and phone numbers of city leaders online, though officials say that’s not the case.
The group threatened to disrupt the city’s computer systems over the it prohibiting homeless people from camping on certain public properties.
In a series of videos, people claiming to be with Anonymous vowed to shut down government websites if the city doesn’t meet the demands of protesters who want Sacramento to repeal its anti-camping ordinance.
A new post laid out everything from phone numbers to vehicle information for every single city council member.
Computer experts like Andrea Eldridge say Wednesday’s post should be taken seriously as a sign of escalation and a very real threat. The founder of Nerds on Call says the cyberthreats should not be underestimated.
In 2014, Fort Lauderdale received a similar video, and within 24 hours the city’s website and the mayor’s website were disabled.
Sacramento city leaders say there doesn’t appear to be a breach and the information posted was from public sources.
“According to an investigation of the post, the data was drawn from public sources and was mostly outdated. However, as always, we are continuing to extensively monitor all our information systems,” the city said in a statement.
Sacramento Police say they are monitoring the situation.
Experts say the best advice for city employees moving forward is to use passphrases instead of passwords for their online work. The complicated phrase or sentence adds more entropy and will make it more difficult to guess than a smaller phrase.