Vandals roused by 'Messiah'

Vandals roused by 'Messiah'

The person who allegedly called himself The Messiah and defaced websites here was revealed yesterday as a thin, balding man who was nabbed a day before a hacking threat against Singapore was to materialise.

But, inspired by him, it seems a bunch of young people donned Guy Fawkes masks, attempted hackings and sprayed graffiti. Now, they face tough questions.

SINGAPORE - Inspired by the self-styled "Messiah" hacker, several groups of Singaporeans went online or took to the streets in recent days to make mischief.

Police revealed yesterday there were three reported cases of vandalism in Prinsep Link, Tampines and Woodlands last week, featuring graffiti referring to Anonymous, the loose network of hackers and activists which "The Messiah" claimed to be part of.

In addition, two illegal gatherings linked to Anonymous took place last Tuesday while others hacked into the websites of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and Istana on Friday.

The police believe the various groups did not know each other and had worked in isolation. Those identified so far have mostly been young men, with the youngest participant aged 17 years. All are Singaporeans.

The incidents took place on or around Nov 5, the date an attack on government infrastructure was supposed to take place, according to a YouTube video posted by a supposed "comrade" of "The Messiah".

But "The Messiah" was nabbed before this could happen. Yesterday, 35-year-old James Raj Arokiasamy was charged for unauthorised modifications of the Ang Mo Kio Town Council website on Oct 28.

On the run for two years, he was finally caught by Malaysian police on Nov 4 in Kuala Lumpur and sent back to Singapore swiftly. He can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed for up to three years, or both.

Separately, a group of five local men aged between 21 and 26 were charged yesterday for vandalising Sunshine Plaza in Prinsep Link, a pavement in Waterloo Street, and a ramp at Scape in the early hours of Nov 5.

NEXT: Hackings and vandalism "separate, illegal and anti-social acts"

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