The hacktivist group Anonymous has taken credit for a cyberattack that took down the Minneapolis Police Department website to protest the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
Before the cyberattack, hacktivist group members allegedly released a video on Facebook saying they were targeting the police department in order to seek justice for Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died May 25 while in police custody after a deli employee called 9-1-1, saying Floyd used a counterfeit $20 bill.
Bystander videos of Floyd’s arrest show police officer Derek Chauvin pinning Floyd down with a knee on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Chauvin has been charged with murder and manslaughter.
Floyd’s death has led to protests across the nation. Some of the protests have remained peaceful while others have turned into rioting and looting. Cities such as Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta have imposed curfews in an effort to stop the rioting.
In the Anonymous Facebook video, which has not been verified, the hacktivist group called the department a “corrupt organization” with a “horrific track record of violence and corruption.” The group told the police department that it “will be exposing your many crimes to the world.”
The cyberattack disabled the police department website, making it temporarily inaccessible. While Anonymous claims to have breached police department data, some researchers are questioning the validity of the data breach.
Expert Troy Hunt, of Have I Been Pwned, said that up to 95% of the credentials and other personal information released from the purported data breach can already be found on Have I Been Pwned. He said this means the personal information being leaked was likely part of another data breach.