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How Credible Is Alleged 'Anonymous' Threat Aimed At Sacramento?

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Authorities can't confirm the video threat aimed at the city of Sacramento today actually came from the hacking group Anonymous, but computer security experts say the damage they could do is very real.

We may not know who's behind the mask making the demands, but computer security experts say their threats shouldn't be taken lightly.

"You want to take it seriously. Anything that can be connected to the web can be attacked," said Ryan Eldridge, co-founder of tech support company Nerds on Call.

He says what's often just a website attack can be much greater because of what's connected to that website.

"Something like a website may not seem dangerous, but if you can get into a website, you can get into phone systems, shut down phones, electrical grids," said Eldridge.

Eldridge says most of the times, the group simply uses the thousands of computers they've hacked to simultaneously log onto a server, overwhelm the system and cause it to crash.

Former FBI agent Don Vilfer is a former FBI agent who led a computer crimes task force. He says like most criminals, at some point, Anonymous will make mistakes.

"Any type of computer crime leaves trails of digital evidence that can be tracked back for the crime," said Vilfer.

Vilfur's "Califorensics" helps companies and government agencies keep their computer systems safe.

"The computers aren't going away and the people with malicious intent aren't going anywhere as well," he said.

The city of Sacramento and Sacramento police websites are still up and running, at least for now.

The city of Ft. Lauderdale received a similar video from anonymous in 2014, and less than 24 hours later, the city's website and the mayor's website were disabled.

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