A hacker reportedly cut off a police car chase attempting to catch two suspected armed robbers in Australia. The unknown hacker is believed to have hijacked police radio broadcast, interrupting the car chase by impersonating an officer. The incident led to the police calling off the pursuit of the two alleged robbers.
The incident took place after Victoria Police were called in following an armed robbery of a shop that occurred in the town of Sale. The officers followed the two suspected robbers, who fled the scene of the crime in a stolen car. However, during the chase, an unknown individual disrupted communications over the police radio multiple times and posed as a police officer.
Although the police initially abandoned the chase, police later apprehended two suspects – a 22-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man – in a nearby town, according to local reports. Victoria Police said in a statement that they believe the hacker may be operating in the East Gippsland area.
Local police are now investigating the incident and are encouraging the public to call in and help in identifying the voice of the radio hacker. The Australian government said the incident highlighted the need for a more updated digital system.
"What we saw overnight ... highlighted the vulnerability of the current radio network system," Police Minister Lisa Neville said, the Brisbane Times reported.
Neville deemed it an "appalling" act, adding that improvements to the network are already in the works. A new $12m (£7.4m, $9.5m) system is slated to be fully operational by next year.
Radio hacks are not uncommon. In July, a hacker hijacked a UK radio station's frequency eight different times to play an obscene song. In April, a hacker hijacked emergency systems in Dallas and set off all tornado sirens 12 times in a row on the same night.