Police Department Website Gets Hacked, Graphic Images Populate Google For Hours

Sandy Malone

The Herrin Police Department took down their official website completely but the pictures had already moved to Google.

Herrin, IL – The Herrin Police Department’s official website got hacked on Sunday morning and the cyber criminals posted some extremely graphic pictures.

Herrin Police Chief Quinn Laird woke up to a firestorm of social media about the pictures that portrayed, among other things, a man in a uniform pointing to his exposed penis.

The uniform does not appear to be from the Herrin Police Department.

Herrin police took their official website down completely in the wake of the cyberattack, but not before the pictures had auto-populated to Google.

“The Herrin Police Department is aware of the pictures that have been posted on Google,” Chief Quinn posted to the department’s official Facebook page on Sunday afternoon. “Let me be clear, we did not post these pictures nor do we at this time have any knowledge of how they were posted there. I have reported this problem to Google and reached out to a Cybercrime specialist regarding potential identification of the responsible parties.”

It was several hours before Google took down the pictures from the hack.

In the meantime, social media went wild.

While the vast majority of people simply posted the recommendations “go look at the Herrin Police Department” or “Google Herrin police,” some were far more creative and humorous.

Police are investigating to identify the perpetrator of the hack, and there’s already speculation on social media that more than one Herrin business may have been affected.

In the meantime, the police department posted the following request.

“Please do not call our dispatch center to report this. We are aware,” the chief wrote. “The phones are so busy that it is interfering with our ability to answer 911 and regular calls for service. Thank you for your patience as we attempt to resolve this matter.”

Comments (3)

Of all the things this is indicative of, the least impressive is what grabs people’s attention and the reasons for which it does. I must say, if I had the ability it takes to perform complicated digital tasks, I wouldn’t fool around creating mischief and distractions that resemble restroom vandalism.That being said; taking compromising photos whilst in uniform (even though it was a “private joke”) shows a lack of forethought that looks stupid later when you have to explain the media backlash to your superiors. Nothing is a secret in state employment in the digital age. Goof off in your time off.

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So this is the first hack of a government or corporate site in the US? There might be more...just a guess.