Police probing hacking of ST website

SINGAPORE - The police are investigating yet another cyber intrusion after part of The Straits Times' website was hacked into early Friday morning.

The person behind the attack, who identified himself as The Messiah, had hacked into a webpage that carried blogs by the newspaper's reporters.

He claimed he was unhappy with a "misleading" report published on Friday on the threat made in a YouTube video by the Anonymous group of hackers.

They claimed that they would hit out at Singapore's infrastructure if the Government did not reconsider the regulations of the licensing framework on news sites.

The police are looking into this video, which threatened to "go to war with you (the Government)", the Straits Times report said.

Straitstimes.com editor Eugene Leow said he was alerted to the intrusion at about 7am, and steps to remove the affected section were taken immediately.

"At no point was our main site affected," he said.

A spokesman for Singapore Press Holdings added that the "paper stood by its report, and reporters", and the matter was reported to the police, who are investigating.

This is the fourth time that the culprit, who claims to be part of the global hacker group Anonymous, has hit local websites since September.

In September, The Messiah had defaced City Harvest Church co-founder and singer Ho Yeow Sun's website.

Last month, pre-school operator PAP Community Foundation's website was also hit - purportedly by the same hacker, who posted a message demanding a "proper investigation" into an incident at one of its centres which involved a baby being allegedly scalded by hot coffee.

And on Monday, the Ang Mo Kio Town Council's website was targeted in an act directed at one of the constituency's MPs, Mr Ang Hin Kee.

The website has since been restored.

Mr Leow said readers with issues about stories in the newspaper had several channels to voice their concerns, such as the newspaper's hotline, letters to the Forum, or the ST Readers' editor.

"So there is really no need to resort to the criminal act of hacking."

The Straits Times reported on Friday that the Government IT Security Incident Response Team has sprung into action, following the threat issued by the Anonymous group on YouTube.

The unit - set up to coordinate responses to a cyber intrusion - has reportedly alerted government agencies about potential hacks stemming from the video.

brynasim@sph.com.sg


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