SAN FRANCISCO – Hackers broke into a website for San Francisco’s mass transit system Sunday and posted contact information for more than 2,000 subscribers, the latest showdown between anarchists angry at perceived attempts to limit free speech and officials trying to control protests that grow out of social networking and have the potential to become violent.
Bay Area Rapid Transit officials blocked underground cellphone service for a few hours Thursday at several stations as protesters tried to use social networking to organize a demonstration over the recent fatal shooting of a 45-year-old man by police. The decision was criticized by many as heavy-handed, and some raised questions about whether the move violated free speech.
The hacker group known as Anonymous responded Sunday by posting the names, phone numbers, and street and email addresses of a Bay Area Rapid Transit website’s subscribers. The hackers got the information from a database of 55,000 subscribers who receive alerts and other information from the transit agency’s MyBart.org, BART spokesman Jim Allison said.
He did not know if the group had obtained information from all the subscribers. No personal financial information, such as bank accounts or credit card information, was listed, according to Allison.
BART district officials said they were attempting to shut down the hackers’ website, which contained the confidential information. The agency has notified the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, Allison said.
Rembrandt work stolen from hotel
MARINA DEL REY, Calif. – A drawing by Rembrandt was stolen from a hotel in Southern California in what sheriff’s investigators said was a well-planned heist.
The pen-and-ink drawing, believed to be called “The Judgment,” was nabbed Saturday night while a curator was distracted by a guest at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey, Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said Sunday.
Detectives believe the theft occurred during a 15-minute window starting at 10:20 p.m.
“When the curator turned back to the Rembrandt, it was gone,” Whitmore said, adding that it “was a well-thought-out, well-executed theft.”
Investigators were studying surveillance video from the hotel, Whitmore said.
Officials asked anyone who spotted anything suspicious to contact the sheriff’s department.
Whitmore said the work by the Dutch master was valued at $250,000.