Security company Websense is reporting that the official website for ITV police drama The Bill has been compromised by hackers.
Fortunately for fans of The Bill, "the malicious code failed to launch due to what appears to be sloppy work by the intruder. The failure occurred because the code that was placed to execute, was improperly placed on the wrong section of the Web site," continued the release.
"Websense believes that these are the same perpetrators behind three similar compromises of a UN website, a prominent bank in India and a large industry organization website."
"At this time, the malicious code is still on the [Bill] website," said Websense -- although if the code doesn't actually do anything, it'll only be dangerous if it's undetected, and is modified by the intruder, I'd say.
I rang ITV's press office to verify if this was true, but they didn't have a clue what I was talking about. I think the combination of "website", "hacked" and "malicious code" in the same sentence flummoxed them. I was duly transfered to Talkback Thames, the company that produces The Bill. I got halfway through a sentence explaining that I was a technology journalist looking into whether there was any mal[I'll just transfer you sir] before I was transfered to Talkback Thames' third party IT support company. I patiently asked whether they administered The Bill website, and was told they didn't. They recommended I ring... Talkback Thames. I rang them back, and got a different person on the phone who also didn't have a clue what I was talking about, but who suggested I ring Merton Studios, where The Bill is filmed. Needless to say, that number seems permanently engaged -- and something tells me they wouldn't be able to help, anyway. At this point one of our editors told me that it probably wasn't worth spending any more time on, so I throw down the gauntlet to you, ITV -- if there's no malicious code on The Bill website, do get in touch.
Update: The Bill got back to me with the following statement:
"Our hosting company were quick to react and resolve the problem as soon as this came to our attention. As reported, the code did not work and has now been removed. We have protocols in place and a constant process of monitoring to try to ensure this doesn't happen again."
So it seems the site was compromised after all.