In a move that left London and Washington reeling with embarrassment, the hacking group Anonymous on Friday dramatically released a recording of a confidential conference call between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Scotland Yard claiming responsibility for intercepting it.
It also published an email, purported to be from the FBI to international law enforcement agencies inviting them to join the call to “discuss the on-going investigations related to Anonymous... and other associated splinter groups.” The email contained a phone number and password for accessing the call.
“The FBI might be curious how we're able to continuously read their internal comms [communications] for some time now,” the group boasted in a message on Twitter linked to @AnonymousIRC. FBI confirmed the leak and said it was investigating.
The information “was intended for law enforcement officers only and was illegally obtained”, it said adding that it was “hunting'' those responsible for hacking it.
In the 15-minute long recording of what is thought to be a confidential call on January 17, British and American investigators are reportedly heard discussing plans to track down and prosecute Anonymous and other similar groups, dates of planned arrests and details of evidence held by police.
They are also heard mentioning names of some of the people they were investigating but the recording appears to have been edited to bleep out their real names.
“Usernames are included but some of the real names of people being investigated appear to have been bleeped out. Among those discussed are two British men, Ryan Cleary and Jake Davis, who are wanted in the US for their alleged connections to Anonymous. One of the British voices on the recording also says U.K. police have made mistakes in previous investigations,'' the BBC said.