NEWS

Ottawa Police, Supreme Court Websites Down After Possible Hack

11/22/2014 08:37 EST | Updated 01/22/2015 05:59 EST
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The Supreme Court of Canada stands in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. Canada's trade deficit widened more than forecast in June, signaling that the economy may have stalled or even contracted in the second quarter. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

UPDATE: The Ottawa police website appeared to be offline again Monday afternoon.

A hacker group claimed responsibility after the websites of the Ottawa police department and the Supreme Court of Canada flashed offline Saturday evening, one day after the same group allegedly shut down the City of Ottawa’s website.

The Ottawa Police Service’s website stopped responding around 6:30 p.m., with visitors attempting to reach the site greeted by a blank page with an error message. The Supreme Court of Canada's website shut down the same way shortly after.

A Twitter account under the name Aerith claimed responsibility for the website malfunctions.

"We'll start by taking OttawaPolice.ca offline, just to annoy them," it tweeted just after 6 p.m.

Ottawa police could not immediately confirm whether its website was hacked but told CBC News they are currently investigating.

"This is just the start," Aerith said in a message posted to an online forum. "We will not rest, we have already hacked Ottawa police's mail server, stolen all email logs incoming and outgoing."

CBC News could not immediately confirm who authored the message or its authenticity.

Aerith said Friday it hacked the City of Ottawa website. For about an hour, the site displayed the name of an Ottawa police officer involved in the investigation of an area teen who allegedly called in fake emergencies across North America, prompting police departments to deploy SWAT teams. The practice is often called “swatting.”

Const. Joel Demore’s name was shown alongside a dancing banana and the message: “Joel Demore: You laugh at us, you are scared of us, does this help your laughing?" the hacked website read. "We can destroy everything, this is a flex of our power. Please, test us. You know what we want."

The officer's email address was also published.

"You want to know our motive? Ask Joel Demore of the Ottawa Police Services," read the group's online message Saturday.

The City of Ottawa, Ottawa police and Supreme Court websites were each restored as of Sunday morning.