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‘Anonymous’ hacker targets Straits Times website

SINGAPORE — A hacker claiming to be part of the Anonymous collective broke into the Straits Times website today (Nov 1), two days after the group purportedly posted a YouTube video threatening to attack the Singapore Government, and promised more to come if a reporter does not apologise for an article deemed “misleading”.

‘Anonymous’ hacker targets Straits Times website

The Straits Times webpage that was hacked on Nov 1, 2013.

SINGAPORE — A hacker claiming to be part of the Anonymous collective broke into the Straits Times website today (Nov 1), two days after the group purportedly posted a YouTube video threatening to attack the Singapore Government, and promised more to come if a reporter does not apologise for an article deemed “misleading”.

In a statement released later in the morning, a Singapore Press Holdings spokesperson confirmed that the site had been hacked into and a police report had been made.

Said the spokesperson: "A section of the Straits Times website was hacked into earlier this morning. We have taken down the affected blogs.

"We have also made a police report, and the police are investigating."

The hacker, who goes by the moniker “The Messiah”, hacked into the blog of reporter Irene Tham and posted a message under her name with the headline: “Dear ST: You just got hacked for misleading the people!”

In the Straits Times article, "Government agencies on alert after hackers threaten attacks" dated Nov 1, the quote "we will be forced to go to war with you" was attributed to the YouTube video posted two days ago.

“The Messiah” said he was unhappy that the reporter “chose to conveniently modify the sentence ‘war against the Singapore Government’ into ‘war against Singapore’”.

“That in our opinion can be very misleading,” the hacker posted on the blog, which has since been taken down.

The hacker added that the collective will give the reporter “48 hours to make an apology to the citizens of Singapore for trying to mislead them with her hate. In the event she refuses to apologise then we expect her resignation. If those demands are met we will be on our way.”

In this morning's post, “The Messiah” stated: “The media has also misled our intentions by stating that we had plans to attack the infrastructure of Singapore on the 5th of November. That is ONLY our intention if the internet framework gets implemented. Not otherwise.”

He was referring to the Media Development Authority's licensing framework for websites, which came into effect earlier this year. The regulations require the licensing of online news sites that report regularly on issues relating to Singapore and which have a significant reach among readers here.

Included in the post on the Straits Times website today was an “Encrypted Message” consisting of a string of numbers and characters.

The hacker also listed grievances and alleged censorship in a few recent incidents, including a baby-scalding incident at a PAP Community Foundation (PCF) in early October and the controversy over the euthanised puppy Tammy.

There was also a mention of the ongoing trial involving City Harvest Church and its co-founder Kong Hee. In September, “The Messiah” hacked into the website of Kong’s wife, Sun Ho, and posted a message threatening to leak “incriminating evidence” against him.

“The Messiah” has claimed responsibility for the hacking of a few local websites this year, including that of the PCF, the Ang Mo Kio Town Council, Sun Ho and City Harvest.

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