Anonymous hacking group target police web forum
An internet forum used by police to exchange information and discuss policing issues has been "compromised" by hackers from the group Anonymous.
Scotland Yard said the group obtained the private email addresses of a number of serving and retired officers.
The Metropolitan Police's e-Crime unit is now assessing the scale of the problem. It said no computer system run by the police force had been hacked.
Anonymous is a collective of hackers, also known as a hacktivist group.
One former officer whose details were obtained by Anonymous was sent an email with the subject line: "A message to the police and armed forces".
The message began: "Hello members of our UK police and armed forces" and called for recipients to "stand with us, not against us".'Protect us'
It went on: "We are not against you, only against the evil system that you defend, and we appeal to your consciences to stop protecting the traitors and banksters, and protect us from them instead."
Postings on UKPoliceonline.co.uk forum suggested its members had received the messages.
Anonymous also claims to have undertaken a hack redirecting readers from other police forums to a page showing a video approved by the collective.
The hacktivists have previously been linked with compromised security on police websites in the US and other countries.
The Met said inquiries were ongoing but it was aware of "a number of incidents" whereby emails purporting to be from members of the group Anonymous have been sent to the private email accounts of former and current police personnel.
"It would appear that a third party forum has been compromised and personal email details retrieved," it said in a statement.
The Met said officers had been advised to take steps to protect the security of their personal email accounts.