HAWTHORNE (CBSLA.com) The group “Anonymous” — self-described “hack-tivists” — have targeted the Hawthorne Police department in response to authorities fatally shooting a man’s dog.
The video of that dog’s shooting has gone viral with more than 4 million hits on YouTube.
CBS2′s Suzie Suh said the cyber threat is being taken seriously and Hawthorne Police are on high alert.
“Anonymous” is known for hacking into — and shutting down — computer networks of major companies like Bank of America and organizations like the Tea Party.
The threat was posted Wednesday and Hawthorne Police immediately called in a computer specialists to work through the holiday.
The threat begins, “Hello fellow citizens of Earth. We are ‘Anonymous.’ Police of Hawthorne, you should know you are our primary target. This matter will not remain unresolved. We are ‘Anonymous.’ We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”
Hawthorne Police Sgt. Joel Romero said that all IT technicians were called in to minimize the threat.
“They are working around the clock to start upgrading and they are working on our information systems and firewall systems,” said Romero.
The FBI and LA County Sheriff’s are both monitoring social media to investigate any threats.
Three detectives involved in the shooting have been reassigned for their protection.
Meanwhile, Hawthorne dispatch has been bombarded with phone calls — including death threats from around the world.
The City of Hawthorne’s website was hacked Monday and it’s been down ever since.
The city is hoping that public outrage over the dog’s shooting will subside over the holiday weekend.
The Police have announced two separate investigations regarding the shooting.