'Subpage' of the Prime Minister's Office website hacked; Investigations ongoing

'Subpage' of the Prime Minister's Office website hacked; Investigations ongoing

SINGAPORE - A subpage in the Prime Minister's Office (POM) and Istana websites were hacked on Thursday night (Nov 7)at 11.17pm and Friday (Nov 8) at 12.20am respectively.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) said in a statement on Friday that "a subpage for search on the PMO website was reported to be compromised" on Thursday at 11.17pm.

It added that the vulnerability in the affected subpages "were exploited to display pages from other sources", in what is known as cross-site scripting.

"Both the PMO and Istana main websites are still working, and we will restore the compromised pages as soon as possible. The matter is under investigation," the IDA spokesperson said.

Apologising for any inconveniences caused, IDA siad that they will continue to strengthen all Government websites, which includes the checking and fixing of vulnerabilities and software patching.

Visitors to Government websites may experience intermittent problems with access during this period of maintenance.

The latest incident comes after a threat last week by international hactivist group Anonymous, calling for Singaporeans to join in its protest against the government.

In the YouTube clip, a person claiming that he was from Anonymous said that the group would strike at Singapore's infrastructure, if its demands to have an online-news licensing framework repealed were not met, reported My Paper on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also told reporters on Wednesday that Singapore will "spare no effort" to hunt down those who threaten to harm "our IT (information technology) network, the Internet, our communications".

Earlier in Nov 2, several government websites were down due to technical difficulties encountered during a planned maintenance that took place from 1pm to 3pm.

IDA later said in statement on Nov 5 that the Singapore Government takes cyber security and threats to its ICT infrastructure very seriously, and maintenance of IT systems is part of the Government's on-going efforts to enhance security.

"Government agencies have been on heightened vigilance and have enhanced the security of their IT systems in response to the declared threats against the Government's ICT infrastructure," IDA said.

The technical glitch on Nov 2 was due to a combination of a routing issue and a hardware failure, and was rectified by 5.20pm.

IDA added that some Government websites may continue to experience intermittent access over the next few days while maintenance is in progress.

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