Thursday, 21 November 2013

Cyber Security Vs Threats

Update 26 Nov 2013: PM: Facing new media's challenges

Cyber hacking akin to terrorism if it endangers lives: Shanmugam

Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K Shanmugam. (AFP/POOL/Matt Rourke)

If cyber hacking leads to people's lives being endangered, then such hacking is akin to terrorism.

This point was made by Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam at a dialogue with university students on Wednesday evening.

He said the government takes cyber hacking very seriously because of Singapore's dependence on information technology.

related:
S'poreans urged to continue taking stand against cyber threats
Singapore cyber security laws robust but not foolproof, say experts
Experts say hacking incidents in Singapore not on the rise
Govt agencies have to beef up cyber security: Heng Swee Keat


Cyber attacks should not be taken lightly, says DPM Teo

Govt agencies have to beef up cyber security: Heng Swee Keat

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said government agencies must beef up their cyber security, and take any threat seriously.

Mr Heng's comment came after recent attacks on government websites.

Both the webpages of the Prime Minister's Office and Istana were compromised last week, after hackers tried to bring them down.


YAACOB IBRAHIM: CYBER ATTACKS ON GOVERNMENT WEBSITES CAN 'ENDANGER LIVES'


Singapore has been under “cyber attack” since early Nov. Going by the commentaries and reports and the many people I have talked to, it gives me great comfort to know that many Singaporeans have taken a stand against those who threatened our country’s computer systems and websites – your support is much appreciated.

Many of our agencies, including IDA, have worked hard in the past weeks to strengthen the security of our computer systems and websites. In recent days, those responsible for the recent attacks have been arrested or are being investigated.

Any forms of cyber attacks or threats are actually threats on the people regardless if the intent was malicious or mischievous. These include curious netizens who claimed to have followed instructions found online – It is irresponsible and does not bring about any positive outcome.


MINISTER TAN CHUAN JIN: SOMEONE DUPLICATE OUR ENTIRE MOM WEBSITE


It has come to our attention that there is a duplicate of MOM’s corporate website – www.momgov.sg. We have lodged a case with the Police and investigations are ongoing.

We would like to clarify that members of the public should only use the official MOM website for all informational and transactional needs concerning MOM matters. 

At the same time, we would also like to assure everyone that access to the official MOM website remains unaffected.


related: Beware of fake Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website

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MOE lodges police report on 13 defaced school sites
Online screen grab of one of the 13 school websites that were defaced.
Yahoo Newsroom - Online screen grab of one of the 13 school websites that were defaced

Police confirmed on Wednesday evening that the Ministry of Education (MOE) has lodged a police report regarding the 13 school websites that were defaced earlier in the day.

Police added that investigations are ongoing.

The Straits Times earlier reported that the 13 websites were defaced between 3:30pm and 5:00pm, according to a statement from MOE. The affected websites were all hosted on one server.

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Websites of 13 schools hacked


The official websites of 13 schools were hacked and defaced on Wednesday (20 Nov), around 3:00pm.

The hacker apparently replaced the main index page of the affected websites with a black and green background containing the words “Hacked by Jack Rider” on it.

Compared to the alleged hacks by The Messiah, the latest hacks by Jack Rider appears to be more penetrating and possibly done at the server level, where all the 13 websites are hosted.

related: Websites of 13 schools defaced 

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Email addresses, phone numbers of about 4,000 people taken from SAM website illegally
Email addresses and phone numbers of about 4,000 people have been taken from a data file on the Singapore Art Museum’s (SAM) website, and illegally published and uploaded to an overseas server. (Getty Images)
Yahoo Newsroom - Email addresses and phone numbers of about 4,000 people have been taken from a data file on the Singapore Art Museum’s (SAM) website, and illegally published and uploaded to an overseas server. (Getty Images)

Email addresses and phone numbers of about 4,000 people have been taken from a data file on the Singapore Art Museum’s (SAM) website, and illegally published and uploaded to an overseas server.

According to a statement from SAM released on Wednesday, it was alerted by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) about the incident on 5 November.

It has since removed the data file from its website and filed a police report.

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OVER 4000 PHONE NUMBERS, EMAIL ADDRESSES TAKEN FROM SINGAPORE ART MUSEUM WEBSITE


A data file on the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) website containing the names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of over 4000 people was taken from the website and the information published illegally online.

The data file had information on people who had previously attended events at the Singapore Art Museum over the past 3 years. SAM was alerted to the information theft by IDA who had found the published data on the 5th of November.

SAM then quickly took the data file down from their website and a police report was made.

related: Personal data of 4,000 people from SAM website leaked online


"Breakfast Network" required to register under MDA's licensing scheme

In comments issued on Wednesday, MDA said as part of the registration, the owners have to undertake not to receive foreign funding for the provision, management or operation of the website.

It said the site owners were notified on Tuesday.

related: It’s getting very hot in the BN kitchen

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Singapore blogger faces contempt of court action for posts


SINGAPORE, Nov 26 —Singapore blogger Alex Au Wai Pang faces possible contempt of court action for writing and posting articles that the Attorney General’s Chambers said “scandalise” the country’s judiciary.

An Oct. 5 article insinuates there was a plan to manipulate hearing dates on a challenge to the constitutionality of Singapore’s ban on homosexual sex, according to papers filed by the attorney general’s office in the Singapore High Court.

Au is also in contempt by publishing a second article where he alleged the court made an “erroneous” decision in an employment complaint where a gay man claimed he was unfairly treated, the attorney general’s office said in its court filings.

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A Real Hack

Personal data of some 4,000 individuals who participated in Singapore Art Museum (SAM) events were heisted from their outsourced website and posted on a New Zealand based storage website on November 5. The news about the data file was disclosed only yesterday, 20 November.

SAM claims it was alerted of the theft by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) on the same day, Nov 5. Earlier on Nov 4, IDA had stumbled across a tweet by a "CtrlSalad", boasting of the possession of "3.6k email, numbers, names and IP addresses including the Government's", and sat on it for one full day.

SAM's official excuse for its own tardiness in reporting the cybercrime was that they were "estabilishing the extent of the incident". In most probability they were in panic mode, trying to classify it as "technical glitch", "compromise", or "intrusion". Hack was the last word on their minds, and for good reason. A media lawyer at Pinsent Masons said affected individuals may be able to sue on grounds of negligence, with the liability falling on the party controlling access to the data.

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S'poreans urged to continue taking stand against cyber threats

Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said it is a great comfort to know that many Singaporeans have taken a stand against those who threaten the country's computer systems and websites.

He urged Singaporeans to continue to take a stand against cyber threats.

Posting on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Dr Yaacob said any forms of cyber threats are actually threats to people, regardless of whether the intent is malicious or mischievous.

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Singapore cyber security laws robust but not foolproof, say experts

Experts said Singapore's cyber security laws are robust, especially after amendments to the Computer Misuse Act in 2013. Still, they caution that these laws are not foolproof as technology is constantly evolving.

On Tuesday, James Raj Arokiasamy -- who allegedly goes by the moniker The Messiah -- was charged with hacking Ang Mo Kio Town Council's website.

He was also suspected to be behind a spate of hacking incidents in Singapore -- including websites belonging to the City Harvest Church co-founder, Sun Ho; The Straits Times blog; and the People's Action Party Community Foundation.

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Experts say hacking incidents in Singapore not on the rise

Cybersecurity experts Channel NewsAsia spoke to said internet crime cases in Singapore have increased, but they believe hacking incidents are not on the rise.

Assistant Professor Liang Zhenkai of National University of Singapore’s School of Computing and a member of Cyber-Security Research Group, said: "Years ago, we didn't have internet banking. People only used internet for email and for fun. But now, government services, internet banking, and more and more important services are online. I think simply because of this fact, the attacks on online infrastructure will attract more attention."

And in recent years, a new kind of hacking -- termed “hacktivism” -- has emerged around the world and in Singapore.


Hackers, Criminals and Terrorists

Singapore recently underwent a series of high profile hacking. The CHC website, then the Istana and PMO sites, then some school websites. These were defacements, childish graffiti more akin to spraying on walls and the Cenotaph. Art, prank or vandalism, it depends on who is asked. The website owner might not be so flippant and amused while others might think it is perfectly fine although it is illegal. As Singapore government sites were defaced, whether it was tantamount to an actual attack against the State is a worthy debate. If it was an attack against the state, should there be a harsh and proportionate response if the culprits can be apprehended.

The debate is changing quickly after the Singapore Art Museum database was also broken into and hackers grabbed personal information of about 4,000 art supporters. This was more serious and downright criminal in action regardless of intent.

If the museum database was not broken into and its personal information data pillaged, we would tend to be more accommodating and laid back about hacking, and think that hackers like Anonymous are cool hacktivists and folk heros however childish. However, as school websites were attacked, senseless online victims,  and the museum data stolen, hackers whether pranksters or hacktivists are at least deemed as cyberbullies in a way, if not criminals.

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Infocomm Dysfunctional Authority

Yaacob the Info minister wrote on Facebook a few days ago that many agencies have worked hard in the past weeks to strengthen the security of Singapore’s computer systems and websites*, and those responsible for the recent hacking incidents have been arrested or are being investigated**.

Taz gd, but what about making sure that IDA works hard and competently to give the public info on cyber security accurately, and in a timely manner? Rather than inaccurately, and only after cyber leaks and DRUMS.

Going by its recent ingloriously track record, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) should be renamed   Inforomm Dysfunctional Authority  because it’s so dysfunctional  in communicating info on cyber security and ICT matters.

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We must fight back against trolling: PM Lee
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, pictured during the 16th ASEAN-Korea summit on the sidelines of the 23rd summit of the ASEAN, in Bandar Seri Begawan, on October 9, 2013
AFP News/Roslan Rahman - Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, pictured during the 16th ASEAN-Korea summit on the sidelines of the 23rd summit of the ASEAN, in Bandar Seri Begawan, on October 9, 2013

Singapore's online space must fight against trolling, as it deters serious readers from participating in debate and ruins the overall atmosphere in cyberspace, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Speaking on Friday evening at Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao's 90th anniversary celebrations, PM Lee said it is not about whether people agree or disagree online, but that it is "totally unacceptable" for discussion and debate to degenerate into abuse and hate-mongering.

"We must fight back against trolling, and provide a safe, responsible online environment which promotes constructive participation," he said.

related:
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related:
Singapore public servants' computers no Internet from May 2017
Bye Bye File-sharing
MDA tells The Online Citizen to register under Broadcasting Act
Mothership.sg To Register Under Broadcasting Act
Cyber Security Vs Threats
Bank Data Theft & Security Breach
False info online a "threat to Total Defence"
Websites of Singapore President & PM hacked
PM: We will track you down even if you think you're anonymous
Singapore vows to hunt down Anonymous hackers
Singapore on alert for cyber attacks after websites hacked
"Anonymous" hacker group threatens to attack Singapore
The Messiah Saga
The Messiah, the Crowd, and the State
"Anonymous" Hackers arrested & charged in Court
Seditious Tendency
Crackdown against Harassments
Singapore 'not alone' in tweaking media laws
"Free My Internet"
Internet Code of Conduct
Licensing Regime Chills News Climate
#FreeMyInternet Protest @ Hong Lim Park, 8 Jun 13
Bloggers stage 24-hour "blackout"
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