News @ AsiaOne

Lapse led to PA sites' hacking

IDA was aware of the vulnerability in a software tool used in websites and had told public agencies prior to the hacking incident. -My Paper

Tue, Jan 15, 2013
My Paper

IT WAS a "lapse in maintenance" that led to the hacking of People's Association (PA)-related websites last month, said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore was aware of the vulnerability in a software tool used in websites and had told public agencies prior to the hacking incident.

However, there was a maintenance lapse by the PA. This allowed a hacking group to gain access to its system.

Last month, at least 17 sites linked to the PA were hacked. These included the main PA website (www.pa.gov.sg) and the sites of four community-development councils.

Since then, PA has said it would "step up" its maintenance regime to ensure that checks and audits are done in a more timely manner.

Dr Yaacob said that the defaced websites carried the signature of the "HighTech Brazil HackTeam".

It is a known hacking group that targets government and private websites around the world.

While the identities of the perpetrators have not been established, Dr Yaacob said preliminary investigations have traced the hacking activities to Internet Protocol addresses in foreign countries.

Police have requested assistance from their foreign counterparts as part of investigations.

On concern over the safety of transactions using SingPass, Dr Yaacob gave the assurance that there is a protection system in place, which is "thus far safe and secure".

He added: "We're not resting on our laurels. We'll continue to monitor the situation."


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