Brothers initially held for hacking PMO site face 16 charges

Brothers initially held for hacking PMO site face 16 charges
Mohammad Azhar Tahir, 27 (left) and Mohammad Asyiq Tahir, 21.

SINGAPORE - Two brothers, initially arrested over the hacking of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) website, now face a total of 16 cybercrime charges between them.

The prosecution last Friday tendered 10 charges in court against Mohammad Azhar Tahir, 27. They include the unauthorised modification of content on the PMO site, illegally accessing a neighbour's wireless Internet service, and hacking into various social media and e-mail accounts of Ah Boys To Men actor Ridhwan Azman.

The younger brother, Mohammad Asyiq Tahir, 21, faces six similar charges, including one for hacking into the Facebook page of his former girlfriend Woo Huijing, on Nov 4.

Azhar, who is unemployed, is accused of hacking into the PMO site on Nov 7, causing it to show an image of a mask and two phrases over what the webpage would normally display. One of those phrases had references to the Anonymous hacktivist group.

The two brothers are also accused of separately hacking into seven different social media and e-mail accounts belonging to Mr Ridhwan on Nov 5.

Last Friday, the 20-year-old entertainer said Asyiq was the former boyfriend of Ms Woo, 19, before he started seeing her.

Asyiq is said to have hacked into the actor's Hotmail, Gmail and Blogspot accounts, and uploaded a video purportedly from the Anonymous group to Mr Ridhwan's YouTube page.

The brothers were released on $10,000 bail last Friday with their passports impounded. Their case will be heard again on Jan 6.

The police had said the duo are not connected to James Raj Arokiasamy, the alleged hacker behind "The Messiah" pseudonym.

The 35-year-old is now said to be linked to the theft of data belonging to Standard Chartered Bank's clients, after the files were found in a laptop seized from him when he was arrested.

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