Singapore

Businessman charged with Istana website hack

Businessman charged with Istana website hack

Delson Moo, charged with defacing the Istana website arriving at the Subordinate Courts with his lawyer M Ravi.

42-year-old Delson Moo allegedly hacked into the site’s search function
Published: 10:28 AM, November 29, 2013
Updated: 12:44 AM, November 30, 2013

SINGAPORE — A 42-year-old businessman was today (Nov 29) charged in the district court for hacking into the Istana website on two separate attempts.

Delson Moo, who was dressed in a white top, was charged with two counts of unauthorised modification of computer material under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, which carries a punishment of a fine of up to S$10,000, up to three years’ jail, or both.

He is alleged to have modified the contents of the server hosting the website “www.istana.gov.sg” without authorisation, by using the search function on the server to process a script which he had crafted and uploaded onto the server.

The script allegedly caused the search function to display text and images specified by Moo instead.

The district judge has scheduled a pre-trial conference date on Jan 24 next year.

Lawyer M Ravi, who is representing Moo, has asked the court to allow his client to leave Singapore from Dec 4 to Dec 8. The matter has been adjourned till this afternoon.

Moo was arrested yesterday, along with 17-year-old Institute of Education student Melvin Teo. Teo is expected to be charged in court later today.

The charges come two weeks after James Raj Arokiasamy, who allegedly went by the moniker “The Messiah”, was charged for hacking into the Ang Mo Kio Town Council’s website on Oct 28.

The hacking of the Istana website is part of a recent spate of high-profile cyber attacks, for which the authorities have rounded up six suspects. The Istana hack was reported to police on the day it happened, Nov 8, the same day that the website for Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was also compromised.

Brothers Mohammad Asyiq Tahir, 21, and Mohammad Azhar Tahir, 27, have been arrested for the PMO website incident but have not been charged. They are out on bail.

The PMO and Istana hacks came a day after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned that the authorities will “spare no effort” to track down those who threaten to attack the country’s computer networks and bring them to justice.