Hackers broadcast secret call between Met and FBI online

Hacktivist group 'Anonymous' tapped conference call about policing cyber-crime

The FBI and Scotland Yard suffered an embarrassing security breach yesterday when hackers from Anonymous broke into one of their conference calls and published a 17-minute discussion about operations targeting the group and splinter organisations.

Officers and agents revealed sensitive details of international cyber-crime operations including planned arrests, tactics for court hearings and details of evidence against individual hackers.

Anonymous, a loose alliance of hackers which has claimed responsibility for attacks on corporations and governments around the world, posted the audio on YouTube along with an email, purportedly from the FBI, that included the email addresses of nearly 50 people from law-enforcement agencies and details of the pass code to listen in on the call. Names of some of the suspects were bleeped out from the conversation.

Anonymous said on its Twitter account that the "FBI might be curious how we're able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now".

Scotland Yard confirmed the meeting included a member of its cyber-crime unit but said that "no operational risks" had been identified. The FBI said the conference call – identified by the hackers as having taken place on 17 January – "was intended for law-enforcement officers only and was illegally obtained". It said that an investigation was under way to find those responsible.

The conference-call invitation included officers from countries such as France, Sweden, Ireland and the Netherlands, but only British officers and US agents were identified during the call.

The officers discussed the case of Briton Ryan Cleary, from Essex, who was arrested last year and has been accused of being part of a cyber attack by hacking group LulzSec.

The officers also talked about a 15-year-old – described as being part of a three-strong group called CSLSec (Can't Stop Laughing Security) – who was arrested just before Christmas, according to the conversation between agents and the officers. A British officer described him as a "wannabe" and a "pain in the bum" who allegedly claimed credit for hacking into targets, including a gaming site.

After the leaking of the conference call, a person using the same name on Twitter said in a post: "Lol [laugh out loud]... still I never got arrested lol."

In what is likely to make embarrassing listening for Scotland Yard, a member of the "London contingent" told the FBI his force was happy to help and admitted that things had been "cocked up" in the past.

Security breach: What they said

FBI "I just want to express our gratitude for being flexible on this. I know New York (FBI office) appreciates it, and the FBI as a whole."

Scotland Yard "We're here to help. We've cocked things up in the past, we know that... It's not that much of a hardship."

Scotland Yard

... on a retired senior officer

"He's a lovely man... one of the true old-school detectives and he's as mad as a box of frogs."

...on visiting Sheffield

"You've missed nothing... it's not exactly a jewel in England's crown."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower