Members of Anonymous recently stole e-mail addresses from the online forum UKPoliceOnline, then used those address to send messages to members of the forum.

"In a message addressed to 'members of our U.K. police and armed forces,' they told officers and servicemen to 'stand with us' in an upcoming campaign," writes The Telegraph's Hannah Furness. "The security breach, which happened in a third-party web forum rather than official police computers, is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime unit. A spokesman insisted no Met Police systems had been compromised and confirmed inquiries were ongoing."

"We offer you our hands in friendship. Join us," the message states. "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. Brothers in arms, join us and end wars and poverty."

"Anonymous also claims to have undertaken a hack redirecting readers from other police forums to a page showing a video approved by the collective," BBC News reports. "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."