Scotland Yard's main Twitter account, followed by over 1.2 million people and used to provide important alerts in times of crisis, tweeted a series of bizarre messages on Friday night after becoming "subject to unauthorized access".
Many dozens of errant tweets, some of which referred to the British rapper Digga D, were also repeated in press releases sent by e-mail to journalists from the official e-mail address of the force. The officials said they were "evaluating to determine which crimes were committed" for the security breach.
Police officer Supt, Roy Smith, tweeted about the violation.
Some of the tweets, since they were deleted, included:
The messages were published during a 40-minute period starting at 11.00am on Friday and the force media team was engaged in a cat and mouse game that struggled to eliminate tweets as soon as they were been published.
In the early hours of Saturday, after having apparently regained control of its production, Scotland Yard stated that it believed that the "security problem" was exclusively related to the external service that the Met press office uses to publish press releases. He said the MyNewsDesk service automatically disseminates content on the Met's website and Twitter account once it is published, as well as sending e-mails to subscribers.
"While we are still working to establish exactly what happened, we have begun to change our access to MyNewsDesk. We apologize to our subscribers and followers for the messages they received.
"At this stage, we are confident that the only security issue concerns access to our MyNewsDesk account," he added.
"There was no hack of the Met Police IT infrastructure."
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