Friday, 1 November 2013

"Anonymous" hacker group threatens to attack Singapore

18 Singapore government websites taken down simultaneously for “planned maintenance”

More than a dozen Singapore government have been unaccessible as of 3pm today, according to a tip-off received by Tech in Asia. Some reports, however, said that the outage occurred as early as 1.30pm. It was initially unclear why these sites have been brought down, but the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) tweeted at 4.19pm that ”government websites are under planned maintenance and will be back ASAP.”

However, the explanation was met with skepticism by internet users. They pointed out that Singaporeans were not informed about any scheduled server maintenance beforehand, which is the usual practice. It’s also unclear why the “maintenance” is held in the afternoon as opposed to off-peak hours like the middle of the night. They are also doubting the fact that all sites could be under maintenance simultaneously, suggesting the possibility of a DDOS attack, which is designed to bring down a site by overwhelming it with data requests.

Furthermore, a spokesperson for the Singapore Police Force, whose website was affected, has “acknowledged the problem” and added that they are investigating it. There was no mention of a server maintenance.

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related:
TechInAsia:19 Spore government websites taken down simultaneously for “planned maintenance”
The Real Singapore:MANY SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT WEBSITES ‘DOWN’
TR Emeritus:All SG Govt sites under maintainance together?
SporeNewsAlternative:IDA claims all 16 gov websites were taken down for “planned maintenance”
New Nation:The Real Singapore applies censorship to The Messiah’s message, tempting fate
AsiaOne:Several SG government websites down since 1pm; IDA says it's planned
Channel News Asia:Government websites undergoing planned maintenance, says IDA
Straits Times:Some Government websites down due to 'planned maintenance': IDA

Hackers Hit Finland Government, Singapore Newspaper

Anonymous wants Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to change its Internet regulations. Since June 1, Singapore regulations require sites that publish news about the state to be licensed. Essentially, news sites are now regulated the same as other media. Hackers uploaded a video to YouTube featuring a man in a Guy Fawkes mask.

Hackers were busy this week, as both the nation of Finland and Singapore's largest newspaper have come under attack from cyber foes. That's just days after Syrian hackers claimed to break into President Obama's Twitter account and on the heels of news about an attack on Adobe that affected 38 million accounts.

According to Finnish television channel MTV3, the malware was injected into the computer systems of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the course of four years. The goal was to intercept communication between the European Union and Finland. News reports indicate Finland is pointing a finger at China and Russia as possible suspects in the attack.

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'Anonymous' hack puts Singapore on alert
'Anonymous' hack puts Singapore on alert

Activist group Anonymous has hacked a Singapore newspaper website over internet freedom in the city-state, where government agencies are now reportedly on alert for wider cyber attacks.

The website of the pro-government Straits Times was hacked early in the day by apparent members of the group, which opposes recently introduced licensing rules for news websites in Singapore on censorship grounds.

The attackers, using the name 'Messiah', took over the blog of a Straits Times journalist, saying she had distorted 'our words and intentions' in a report on the group's threat a day earlier to 'wage war' on the Singapore government.

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Singapore govt on alert after hackers threaten attacks

Singaporean government agencies have been put on alert after someone claiming to be part of the global hacker group Anonymous posted an online video threatening to hit out at the country's infrastructure.

The Straits Times learnt that the government IT Security Incident Response Team - set up to coordinate responses to a cyber intrusion - alerted all government agencies after the video was posted on YouTube on Tuesday, warning of possible hacks to bring down government websites.

When contacted, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore said: "We are aware of the video, and the police are investigating the matter."

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Hacked for the ‘sin’ of synecdoche

Hacked site

Poor Irene Tham. The Straits Times journalist’s only sin seems to have been a synecdoche. A figure of speech in which “a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa” (Concise Oxford English Dictionary).  Anonymous  had threatened war on Singapore, she wrote. What the group had actually done was threaten to declare war on the Singapore government.

She omitted that one word, “government”, and the aftershock made headlines from India to America.

The Straits Times website was hacked by The Messiah, who claimed the newspaper was misleading the people and demanded an apology from the journalist or her resignation.

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Defiant SPH to take the hacker ‘Anonymous Collective’ head-on


Defiant Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), which publishes the Straits Times (ST) website that was hacked yesterday (1 Nov) for its misleading article on the hacker Anonymous Collective (AC)  has refused to budge.

A spokesman for SPH said that it “stands by its reports and reporters” and added “we have filed a police report on the incident, and the police are investigating the matter”.

Later in the day, ST editor Eugene Leow said readers with issues about ST stories 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,” Leow said.

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Snapshot: 86 percent of Stomp readers feel "shiok" that Straits Times blog was hacked by Anonymous
Stomp.com.sg
Link

Related:
Hacker strikes fear among “good” citizens - Yawningbread.wordpress.com

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‘Anonymous’ hacker targets Straits Times website
‘Anonymous’ hacker targets Straits Times website
The Straits Times webpage that was hacked on Nov 1, 2013

A hacker claiming to be part of the Anonymous collective broke into the Straits Times website today (Nov 1), a day 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”.

The hacker, who goes by the moniker “The Messiah”, hacked into the Straits Times website through 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!”


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


Singapore newspaper Straits Times hacked by ‘The Messiah’ from Anonymous collective
Screenshot-2013-11-01-09.29.15

A blog from The Straits Times, Singapore’s most read newspaper, has been cracked this morning by The Messiah, an individual (or group of individuals) who claims to be from the Anonymous collective.

The breach occurred after the same group put up a YouTube video threatening war with the Singapore government for adopting an internet licensing framework that critics say restricts freedom of information.

The Messiah defaced an article written by reporter Irene Tham, replacing it with a lengthy note saying that she had misrepresented Anonymous’ message while reporting on the YouTube video. It reads:

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'Anonymous' hacks Straits Times website
A screengrab from the video, purportedly uploaded by "Anonymous", features a masked person speaking in a scrambled voice, warning of an imminent attack on the government. (Screengrab from video)
(UPDATED 12:49pm, 1 November: Singapore Press Holdings' response)

Local publisher Singapore Press Holdings has filed a police report after The Straits Times website was allegedly hacked into in the early hours of Friday, by the same person or group responsible for recently posting a YouTube video threatening Singapore's government.

SPH said that the paper will stand by its reports and reporters after Anonymous, an international hacker group, said in a note it posted on the hacked website that it felt a Straits Times report had misled readers.


Earlier, someone claiming to be part of Anonymous posted a video on YouTube threatening to disrupt key infrastructure in Singapore to protest against the government's new online media licensing rules

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ST website hacked for ‘misleading the people’

It appears that hacker “The Messiah” has struck again and this time, the target is a website belonging to Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) - the Straits Times (ST) [Link].

TR Emeritus (TRE) was alerted to the hack this morning (1 Nov) at about 5:00 am and confirms that the ST website has indeed been hacked, making it the 5th victim to fall prey to The Messiah, a member of the Anonymous Collective (AC) group of hackers reportedly based in the United States.

Just this year alone, The Messiah has hacked a total of 5 local websites, namely Sun Ho’s website, City Harvest Church’s website, the PAP Community Foundation website, the Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC) website and this morning, the ST website.

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Dear ST: You just got hacked for misleading the people!



Greetings Irene Tham & Straitstimes.com

I am The Messiah from the Anonymous Collective. We are a decentralized non-violent resistance movement, which seeks to restore the rule of law and fight back against the organized criminal class. We oppose any form of internet censorship among other things

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Straits Times distorts Anonymous’ message, tempting fate
anonymous-st
The Straits Times has distorted the original message by Anonymous, the hacker collective 

In the original YouTube video, Anonymous specifically addressed their threat to the Singapore government. (exact words:) 

However, in the ST report that came out after the Anonymous video went viral, the headline was distorted to be “YouTube video by “Anonymous” hacker group threatens to attack Singapore”. Attacking Singapore government and attacking Singapore are very different things.

ST is tempting fate.

related:
S’poreans cry out for Yaacob Ibrahim to protect them from Anonymous

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Straits Times website hacked for misleading article

Techinasia.com, 1 Nov 2013 

A blog from The Straits Times, Singapore’s most read newspaper, has been cracked this morning by The Messiah, an individual (or group of individuals) who claims to be from the Anonymous collective

The breach occurred after the same group put up a YouTube video threatening war with the Singapore government for adopting an internet licensing framework that critics say restricts freedom of information.
The Messiah defaced an article written by reporter Irene Tham, replacing it with a lengthy note saying that she had misrepresented Anonymous’ message while reporting on the YouTube video. Full story

Please note that the hacked ST webpage can still be view at Google cache:
Police investigate video threat to attack Singapore
Screenshot of the video purportedly posted online by international hacker group Anonymous. It threatens to attack Singapore's infrastructures over the new licensing rules for online news sites

The police are investigating a YouTube video that purportedly showed an anonymous hacker group threatening to attack Singapore, said the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) last night.

The video, posted on Oct 29, is claimed to be put up by international hacker group Anonymous. Showing a person in a Guy Fawkes mask seated at a table, the video featured a digitised voice-over that threatened to attack Singapore’s infrastructure due to discontent over the new licensing scheme for online news sites.


“We demand you reconsider the regulations of your framework or we will be forced to go to war with you,” said the video.

related:

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Government agencies on alert after hackers threaten attacks

Government agencies have been put on alert after someone claiming to be part of the global hacker group Anonymous posted an online video threatening to hit out at the country's infrastructure.

The Straits Times learnt that the Government IT Security Incident Response Team - set up to coordinate responses to a cyber intrusion - alerted all government agencies after the video was posted on YouTube on Tuesday, warning of possible hacks to bring down government websites

When contacted, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore said: "We are aware of the video, and the police are investigating the matter."

By Irene Tham Technology Correspondent


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ST reporting Anonymous’ Messiah to the police

Demanding a ST reporter to resign over an impulsive headline seems trivial for the ‘legion’ that is Anonymous, an international hacktivist community that has busted child porn syndicates, white supremacist radio shows and even plans to disarm North Korea of nuclear weapons by tampering with their government web services. For those who cheer Messiah’s dastardly deed like how one swoons over a misunderstood rock singer trashing his guitar, you should note that the group he claims to belong to has also threatened to wipe Facebook off the face of the earth. No more status updates! No more Bitstrips! No more spying on ex-lovers’ photos! We can live without ST’s news, but not without pictures and videos of our friends’ babies in action.

Our Government and major industries have experienced the wrath and mischief of random hackers before. In 1996, the Government’s very own website was trespassed and a list of 100 user IDs of staff from government agencies were exposed. In 2001, Singapore Airlines was hit by a InX of WoH, its website splashed with vulgarities. Even KFC wasn’t spared, not to mention lightweights like the PA site, or AMK Town Council. But it wasn’t just the ruling party that got smeared, Opposition party SDP got hit as well, with their site erased and replaced with the words MATURE SEX in 2003. You didn’t need to write a lengthy manifesto with each incursion in the past, a simple sign off to stamp your conquest, or hardcore porn would state your intent in most cases.

The Police have been trying to snare the Messiah since he defaced Sun Ho’s website (almost 2 months ago), but the hacker remains at large and appears to be growing in confidence and swagger, perhaps even plotting to bring down the SPF homepage as a trophy hack too. Easy pickings for Anonymous, obviously. They’ve already done it to the FBI and the CIA. Instead of scaring ST reporters like Irene Tham into checking their bank accounts every hour, here’s a list of what the Singapore-based Anon/Messiah should consider doing now for their ‘fellow Singaporeans’ and humanity in general if they want to convince us that they are the Che Guevaras of our generation, rebels with a cause and not pranksters, freedom fighters not keyboard terrorists, Robin Hoods not bandits invading a cowboy town and holding the sheriff hostage in his own home.

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Video by hacker group threatens to attack S'pore
A YouTube video put up by someone claiming to be part of the international hacker group Anonymous is threatening to bring down key infrastructure in Singapore in a show of protest against the Government's new licensing rules imposed on websites here. -- SCREENGRAB: YOUTUBE
By Irene Tham

A YouTube video put up by someone claiming to be part of the international hacker group Anonymous is threatening to bring down key infrastructure in Singapore in a show of protest against the Government's new licensing rules imposed on websites here.

The video, posted on Oct 29, also urged Singaporeans to join the protest by dressing in black and red on November 5 and to black out their Facebook profile pictures for a day.


The message was delivered on video using an image of Guy Fawkes with his trademark anonymity mask, saying: "We demand you reconsider the regulations of your framework or we will be forced to go to war with you." 

Watch the video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AJCU14M7PBU

related: YouTube video by "Anonymous" hacker group threatens to attack Singapore


'Anonymous' hackers threaten war with Singapore government
A screengrab from the video, purportedly uploaded by "Anonymous", features a masked person speaking in a scrambled voice, warning of an imminent attack on the government. (Screengrab from video)
Yahoo Newsroom - A screengrab from the video, purportedly uploaded by "Anonymous", features a masked person speaking in a scrambled voice, warning of an imminent attack on the government. (Screengrab from video) (UPDATED 8:16pm 31 October 2013. IDA's response added)

A hacker group claiming to be the notorious Anonymous collective has put up a YouTube video promising that it will declare war on the Singapore government if it does not stand down from an internet licensing framework that critics have said restricts freedom of speech.

The video, which surfaced online two days ago, was removed from YouTube just minutes after it went viral on Facebook and Twitter today with over 4,000 shares. The video, however, has been reposted on Facebook, other channels on YouTube, and various video platforms.

The message goes: “the primary objective of our invasion was to protest the implementation of the internet licensing framework by giving you a sneak peak of the state of your cyberspace if the ridiculous, communistic, oppressive and offensive framework gets implemented.”

Related stories:
Police investigating Ang Mo Kio Town Council website hacking
Police investigating PAP Community Foundation's website hacking

Kong Hee on wife Sun Ho's website hacking: This episode is particularly malicious


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THE ANONYMOUS LEGION DECLARING "WAR" AGAINST THE SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT
A screengrab from the video, purportedly uploaded by "Anonymous", features a masked person speaking in a scrambled voice, warning of an imminent attack on the government. (Screengrab from video)

TRS has just received a private video made by Anonymous declaring 'war' against the Singapore government.

In the video it says that The Messiah is just a single hacker and many more hackers will infiltrate the Singapore government websites and databases if their demands are not met. <Video Link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=656364671075370&comment_id=6755136&... 

Below is the message attached with the video: {Twitter} The Messiah @ twitter.com/Th3M3551A

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Hacker group threatens to attack Singapore

A viral video uploaded by someone claiming to be a member of international hacker group Anonymous has uploaded a viral video to protest against the Government's new licensing rules imposed on websites here

The video was posted on Oct 29 and threatened to affect Singapore's infrastructure if ignored. The clip also urged locals to join the protest by dressing in black and red on November 5.

It also asked facebook users to black out their profile pictures for a day on that date. The video contained a picture of a man in Guy Fawkes mask, and mentioned that The Messiah, who had previously gained notoriety for hacking local websites, was a member of their organisation.


However, the video appears to use old footage from a previous video by Anonymous, with audio that seems to have been edited using a text-to-speech software.

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Why This Mask?

Singapore is in a flutter today as international hacker group Anonymous is threatening to disrupt key infrastructure in Singapore to protest against the government's new online media licensing rules. Announced via a YouTube video, a person wearing a Guy Fawkes mask even claimed credit for the work of "The Messiah", a hacker who had broke into two Singapore government websites recently.

However, I'm not here to talk about the threat. Honestly, even if the Youtube video is legit and Anonymous is successful on it's attack on government websites...so what? Anonymous is an annoying irritant to people they attack but hacking into websites isn't going to bring down any government.


No, what I really want to talk about is the Guy Fawkes mask they keep wearing! As someone who read and liked Alan Moore's "V For Vendetta", I really wish Anonymous would stop wearing the mask for their own purpose. "V For Vendetta" is a great work, and I really do not like the fact that a hacking group is using it while threatening to do something illegal


Why Anonymous Collective hacked into ST Online site?

The Anonymous Collective, better known as The Messiah, has hacked into the ST Online site early yesterday morning. They gave the reason for the hacking as a reaction to a reporter by the name of Irene Tham for putting up a misleading article on them. This is what the Anonymous Collective said.

'Greetings Irene Tham & Straitstimes.com

I am The Messiah from the Anonymous Collective. We are a decentralized non-violent resistance movement, which seeks to restore the rule of law and fight back against the organized criminal class. We oppose any form of internet censorship among other things

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Greetings Irene Tham & Straitstimes.com

I am The Messiah from the Anonymous Collective. We are a decentralized non-violent resistance movement, which seeks to restore the rule of law and fight back against the organized criminal class. We oppose any form of internet censorship among other things.

Allow me to explain our intrusion

Earlier today upon discovering the existence of a Youtube video of ours (click here), a straitstimes correspondent by the name of Irene Tham chose to publicize an article distorting our words and intentions (click here). She chose to conveniently modify the sentence “war against the Singapore Government” into “war against Singapore”.

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We are Anonymous
– Yahoo! SG: ‘Anonymous’ hacks Straits Times website
– The Real Spore: The Anonymous Legion Declaring “War” Against the Spore Government
– Words of the Cze: Anonymized
– YoursFaithfullySg: Standing up against the Anonymous Legion
– Musings From the Lion City: Why This Mask?
– [FB] Kall Silva: Why the Anonymous Messiah Hacker is not cool
– New Nation: Straits Times distorts Anonymous’ message, tempting fate


read more

Police investigating Ang Mo Kio Town Council website hacking
A screengrab of the Ang Mo Kio Town Council website's front page, with the message left by "The Messiah". (Screengrab from AMK Town Council site)
Yahoo Newsroom - A screengrab of the Ang Mo Kio Town Council website's front page, with the message left by "The Messiah". (Screengrab from AMK Town Council site)

Police are investigating the compromising of Ang Mo Kio Town Council's website, www.amktc.org.sg, according to Ang Mo Kio member of parliament (MP) Ang Hin Kee 

Speaking to Yahoo Singapore on Monday evening, Ang clarified that no personal information was compromised as all information on the website was public. He nonetheless called it "malicious", but said the intrusion caused "minimal" inconvenience as the town council acted quickly to shut the site and investigate the hacking.

"Nonetheless, we will ramp up security to the website," said Ang. "We also regret that the attacker has chosen to attack an amenity that residents can access."

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The Messiah' gives his reasons for hacking Sun Ho's site
Screen shot of the hacker's Q&A site explaining reasons for hacking Sun Ho's website. (Online Screengrab)
Yahoo Newsroom - Screen shot of the hacker's Q&A site explaining reasons for hacking Sun Ho's website. (Online Screengrab)

A hacker who calls himself "The Messiah", and who
hacked into the website of City Harvest Church (CHC) co-founder Sun Ho, has resurfaced with a Q&A site


In the site, titled “8 questions with the Messiah”, the hacker — who revealed that he operates under the umbrella of hacking group "Anonymous Collective" -- said that Ho's website has very little security. It is something which he said is “horrifying” as the site is apparently responsible for the information of over 5,000 churchgoers.

“It took us less than 15 minutes to gain access,” he said.

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Police investigating PAP Community Foundation's website hacking

The PAP Community Foundation website was down on Thursday. (Yahoo screengrab of PCF website)

However, The Real Singapore reported that “The Messiah” left a message on the site, explaining the hacking was motivated by anger over the case of a nine-month-old baby who suffered second-degree burns while in the care of a PCF infant care centre.

The hacker said he could not accept “any form of child/animal abuse or mishandling”, adding he is “very unhappy” with PCF.

He also boasted that it only took him nine minutes to hack into PCF’s website. However, “The Messiah” did not do as much damage as he did previously on Ho’s website

Related stories:
MSF, police investigate baby scalding incident at PAP childcare centre
Kong Hee on wife Sun Ho's website hacking: This episode is particularly malicious
'The Messiah' gives his reasons for hacking Sun Ho's site


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MSF, police investigate baby scalding incident at PAP childcare centre
One of three pictures of the unnamed six-month-old infant's burns sustained on his wrist. (Photo from Wendy Foo's Facebook page)
Yahoo Newsroom - One of three pictures of the unnamed six-month-old infant's burns sustained on his wrist. (Photo from Wendy Foo's Facebook page)

The Ministry of Social and Family development (MSF) and the police are investigating reports that a six-month-old baby suffered second-degree burns at the hands of a caregiver at a PAP Community Foundation (PCF) infant care centre

According to a Facebook user named Wendy Foo, the unnamed infant, a child of a friend of hers, was being looked after at the government-run Little Wings childcare centre in Boon Lay on Wednesday when his hands were scalded.

Foo's account of the incident, in a post on her Facebook page, revealed that her friend was initially told by a caretaker at the centre over the phone that someone had spilled coffee onto his wrist by accident.

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Kong Hee on wife Sun Ho's website hacking: This episode is particularly malicious
Singer and co-founder of City Harvest Church Sun Ho accompanies her husband and church founder Kong Hee to court during the first tranche of the trial Kong and five others are facing in May this year. (Yahoo file photo)
Yahoo Newsroom - Singer and co-founder of City Harvest Church Sun Ho accompanies her husband and church founder Kong Hee to court during the first tranche of the trial Kong and five others are facing in May this year. (Yahoo file photo)

City Harvest Church founder and senior pastor Kong Hee on Monday evening condemned the hacking of his wife Ho Yeow Sun's official website, calling it "particularly malicious".

In comments issued through his lawyers, Kong said the message the hacker left on her site was "hateful" and "filled with threats and insults" against both him and Ho.

"I am also very concerned that the hacker's statements appear to have been intended to cause readers to influence and prejudge the issues in the criminal proceedings that are presently ongoing in the Singapore Court," he said, referring to the ongoing funds misappropriation trial involving himself and five other church leaders, one of whom had since left City Harvest.

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related:
"Anonymous" Hackers arrested & charged in Court