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back to article Cops find hackers' phone in NOTW office

Police have discovered the existence of a mobile phone known as "the Hub" which was used by News of The World journalists to hack over 1,000 voicemails between 2004 and 2006, according to The Independent. The phone sat on the news desk of the now-defunct newspaper and was used to illegally access 1,150 numbers between 2004 and …

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F@#$ing apostrophe

Possession. Is it so hard? Was it the "hackers' phones" or the "hacker's phone"?

It is shameful that "editors" fail to grasp primary-school standard English.

How about you lot f@#$ off to France.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: F@#$ing apostrophe

Mobile phone (singular) known as "the Hub" was used by News of The World journalists (plural). Many people used that single phone. Hence hackers' phone. Mmm'kay?

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Anonymous Coward

If a single grammatical error really sends you into fits of sweary rage, I'd consider a visit to the doctor; as there's something seriously wrong in your head.

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Bronze badge

More shameful that you didn't actually check what was pluralised yourself before going off on a rant.

And, as a little side-note, I was in an Italian class the other day and the under-40's English students were put to shame by the foreigners and over-40's because (according to the teacher who also taught English) we just don't learn grammar any more. I happen to agree with her - there were vast tracts of grammar that I had no knowledge of even if I could understand them within a few seconds and I swear I'd never been taught any of it. There is literally a divide in nationality / age that is visible enough in any class of adult learners that the teachers have to change their teaching to take account of it.

But if your biggest achievement is to yell at editors for mistakes that don't exist, you really need to find another hobby.

(Now you CAN complain about the apostrophe on "40's" if you so wish, but it's accepted usage and I find it infinitely more comfortable to read and write than any other variation).

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his' head is fine

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I really don't think it's anything to do with age. In my experience, middle aged people are by far the worst when it comes to even basic spelling let alone the use of the apostrophe.

It is actually a very recent development that the majority of people are as literate as they are. The only reason we see more bad spelling and grammar these days is that communication is so easy that even the peasants can do it. Which I suppose is actually a good thing.

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Bronze badge

Why is it that almost every forum post you encounter critcizing grammar or spelling always contains errors of its own or is wrong in its criticism? Is there a name for that?

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F@#$ing apostrophe

Ah, my apologies, it was, indeed, a single phone belonging to multiple hackers. The English was okay after all.

My bad.

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FoTW candidate? - no, it's the sound of back-pedalling!

Blimey - gracious climbdown sir!

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Coat

Apology accepted...but if you have a moment to spare...

...you might want to discuss with @kain preacher below, the proper use of the words "weather" & "whether".

Just a thought.

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Pint

Kudos

In fact, much Kudos, for admitting wrongness on the internetz, very rarely seen. Have a pint!

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Headmaster

ARGH! @Anon16

How can you possibly have the gall to complain about someone else's grammar and then end with

> "My bad"

This has to be about the worse piece of English abusage since the abhorrent concoction of the world abusage.

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good for you

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Go

@Dazed and confused

I love it when the comments to a fairly serious article turn into a grammatical pissing contest.

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Coat

@Dazed and confused...

As a friend of mine used to say... "Don't get in a fight with a pissing skunk. You'll only end up smelling like the skunk."

Coat please... the one that's just been cleaned

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Anonymous Coward

There's still a split infinitive in the article :)

I'll get my coat...

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Thumb Up

A rare example of an apology in an internet forum for getting it wrong. That sir, earns up you an up vote to compensate for all the down votes :)

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Anonymous Coward

It is shameful that "pedants" fail to grasp primary-school sentence structure. Exhibit 1 - My bad.

How about you f@#$ off to France.

:D

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Headmaster

Actually...

@Dazed and Confused: There is actually one expression that's even worse than 'my bad'

Just saying

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@ The Colenel

I'm sure there are many expressions that are worse, but that one always makes my skin crawl. Fortunately my kids are slowly coming to terms with the fact.

But at least no one picked me up for my typo (typographical error for the dedicated grammar nazis)

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Anonymous Coward

The coat

will always get a thumbs down for being a pompous ASS.

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Just how dumb can they be

> The phone was registered to News International

given the ease of anonymously acquiring a phone and SIM card in this country just how stupid do you need to be to use a phone registered to your own address?

Even bank robbers know not to use their own car and registration number

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Anonymous Coward

It's almost as if they weren't worried about the police! Gee, I wonder why?

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I suspect that the real point is that the NOTW didn't really believe that they were doing anything wrong and/or that since they had been doing it for so long that it was OK - or something.

It's a bit like a goose that lays golden eggs - after a while of looking at golden eggs you forget that the goose was stolen.

I guess that their collective moral compass had been diverted for so long that it just became second nature.

It could also be that given the Murdochs inherent lack of morals they were just toeing the corporate line.

Sad really, until it starts interferring with police investigations - then it becomes unconscionable behaviour.

ttfn

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Facepalm

Can't charge it to expenses

if you don't register it to the business maybe?

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Anonymous Coward

moral compasses

since when has anyone working for the dirty digger ever had a moral compass?

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Coat

I think that actually the Digger has an extremely powerful moral magnet, so he can keep the lads' moral compasses pointing in the most convenient direction.

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Probably not so dumb as venal...

The journos wouldn't want to pay out of their own pocket and claiming it on exes would have resulted in a paper trail pointing at a specific individual or individuals.

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That's what I thought at first. Then I thought a little harder and decided that maybe they were taking a leaf out of Blair's book.

Good old Tone seemed to be able to get away with anything by saying he was doing it "in good faith". Taking the nation into an illegal war on the say so of a single unreliable informant whose evidence you suspect to be false? That's fine so long as you do it in good faith.

So could it be that NI are about to spring the Blair defence? Ah but look, we did it on a phone registered to us and openly in the news room in front of witnesses. Would we have done that had we not believed what we were doing was legal and above board? IOW we did what we did in good faith so that's all OK.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm, risk vs risk

The issue with a COLLECTIVELY used phone is that it's never going to be easy to prove who the actual user was - it's only ever going to be hearsay. With a bleed-as-you-pay you would run the continuous risk of petty cash, expenses or credit card payments matching up with top ups on the phone which more directly points to one individual.

It isn't as stupid as it looks. What IS stupid is leaving call logs (well, and the phone).

I must admit that the title made me think they had found a phone used to intercept SMS, because the cheap way to intercept SMS *is* indeed re-coding a Motorola phone.. But that would be like *real* hacking instead of a game of "guess the PIN code"..

I hope they catch the actual operator and jail him for a looooong time.

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Devil

Any calls made to James M., or Daddy, by that phone?

Sure would interesting to find out.

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WTF?

Plausible deniability: We've heard of it.

Just how dumb is this?

It's not like the "hacking" required some ultra-specialised hardware.

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Megaphone

Whaaaat

You mean that this was not the actions of a lone rogue Reporter.

Well I never. Who knew?

(Well Everybody apparently)

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Anonymous Coward

I had to laugh

an old Jonathan Creek episode was on and the woman (Maddie?) was just openly explaining how journalists commonly dialled into people's voicemail to get stories.

So not only was it well known about, but even TV dramas had the exact methodology down years ago... yeah, "lone rogue reporter" doesn't sound too realistic now does it?

Oh, wait- it never did!

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JC episode

Absolutely correct. That episode was transmitted in 1997. Maddie explains to her boyfriend (Alex McGowen?) the procedure to break into the most popular BT answering machine of the time.

Anyone who says this form of "hacking" has not been going on since at least the mid 90's is an idiot.

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I think even the Murdochs stopped relying on the single rogue reporter defence some time ago.

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Might not be a mobile

If the hacking was as has been widely reported by setting the caller ID to be the mobile you wanted to hack and dialling the voicemail access number, then I doubt this is a mobile, but most likely a phone on its own ISDN or similar set up to allow it to specify caller ID...

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Might not be a mobile

If it was a mobile, I wonder if it has anything to do with those Nokia 1100's fetching $30,000 on Ebay a couple of years ago?

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Thought they just used the default PIN

...which the victims had been too stupid to change. Thus, the voicemails could have been retrieved from any number.

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Industry wide pratice

So it was ok. Introduce them to another industry wide practice of looking these slimly bastards up. I'm torn to weather or not a crime like this she be 1 year or 10 years. It needs to belong enough to serve as deterrent but not be extreme.

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Pint

Looking or locking?

Cos you could spend 1 year or 10 years looking them up and you'd get done as a stalker.

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Anonymous Coward

Choices choices..

10 years "regular" would be OK, although 1 year in a prison with the shower soap dispensers mounted a foot off the floor might offer more of a deter(r/g)ent ..

I know journalists need information, but I think it must be made crystal clear that breaking the law is not an acceptable route for it. In addition, the only way to ensure editors don't casually look the other way is to make management joint responsible. That way they are at least forced to check how the information came into the possession of the journalist instead of following the nod nod, wink wink routine.

Just my two cents.

Note to grammar nazis - wasn't sure it was joined or joint, so don't get your nose out of joined (yes, I'm evil).

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Pirate

You don't seem to get it.

To get the juicy stories, the ones you win Pulitzers for, you HAVE to break the law, because leaking state secrets is ALWAYS against the law. So they invent a superior morality position that negates the illegality of breaking the law because of a "right to know." Once you've engaged in that kind of thinking for long enough there no longer IS any law. Of course, that also means occasionally you have to turn on one of your own. Just to keep up appearances you understand.

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Bronze badge

We can be pretty sure that MGN were up to it too. Once you have MGN and NI you have what amounts to most of the industry, so yes "industry wide" just about covers it.

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Anonymous Coward

"Well I never. Who knew?"

Everybody, you reckon?

Well, close.

Perhaps everybody except ACPO Ltd and Metropolitan Police senior anti-terrorism officer Andy Hayman, previouslyinvestigating officer in the phone hacking scandal, now News International employee, and recent star of the pantomime kind at the Home Affairs Select Committe on 13 July this year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd6VfFtC_MM (see 2min 20 in)

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Fair Trial?

You know the sad thing is with all this publicity and everyone knowing about it finding a jury is going to be hard. I won't hold my breath that Rupert Murdoch will go to prison, after all he's been giving money away like it's going out of fashion.

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Anonymous Coward

Phew

We can all sleep safely now this phone is in the safe hands of the Met.

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Anonymous Coward

Ah, quality sarcasm. Applaus :-)

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Mushroom

We want arrests!

We want to see fat-arsed rich bastards doing porridge!

Starting with the editor of NOTW and ending with Mr.Ugly himself, Roopert! and his horrid spawn too, while we're at it.

The phrase 'first against the wall when the revolution comes' springs to mind.

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Anonymous Coward

Wrong focus

All this palaver about hacked phones of "celebrities" and other non-entities.

The real crime is all the police who took the cash for info.

Will any of us live long enough to see such an investigation ???

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