SINGAPORE - Five local men are being questioned for allegedly hacking the websites of Singapore's president and prime minister, police said Tuesday, amid a rash of cyber attacks in the city-state.
Police said in a statement the alleged hackers had "exploited a vulnerability" in both websites last week.
A "subpage" of the website of the Istana, the official residence of President Tony Tan, was hacked and displayed a crude image early last Friday, an hour after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's website displayed mocking messages from international activist hackers' group Anonymous.
Police said the five suspects are local men aged between 17 and 45.
Another Singaporean, 35-year-old James Raj, was charged in court earlier Tuesday with hacking a local council's website and posting an image of a Guy Fawkes mask, the international symbol of Anonymous.
Raj was charged with hacking into the website of the Ang Mo Kio town council, a district whose MPs include Premier Lee, on October 28, and posting the image.
The hacking took place three days before a self-proclaimed spokesperson for Anonymous demanded in a video that Singapore scrap a law requiring news websites to obtain annual licences.
The new Internet licensing rules came into force in June and have angered bloggers and activists who say they are designed to muzzle free expression.
A charge sheet seen by AFP says Raj identified himself as "The Messiah" and carried out the hacking from an apartment in Kuala Lumpur.
The same moniker was used by someone who hacked a reporter's blog on the website of the pro-government Straits Times newspaper on November 1.