Saturday, 9 November 2013

Websites of Singapore President & PM hacked

Update 13 Nov 2013: "Anonymous" Hackers arrested & charged in Court

Trend: No hack on Singapore gov't website

Cyberattackers exploited an Internet search function for the website of Singapore's prime minister and did not hack it directly, security firm Trend Micro said.

The Internet security company said Friday it was able to verify cyberattackers from the group Anonymous abused the search function but did not compromise the site.

"We'd like to point out that the Singapore Prime Minister Office website remains intact, and was not compromised in any way," the company said

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Hackers tries to bring down Singapore gov't websites: authority

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore confirmed that hackers had attempted to bring down government websites on Tuesday, local media reported on Saturday.

International hackers organization Anynomous had called for a protest to be mounted on Tuesday in protest against the government 's new website licensing rules, though few people turned up.

The Infocomm Development Authority disclosed the attacks on Friday, after two webpages on the websites of the Istana and the Prime Minister's Office were affected by apparent members of Anonymous known for their trademark Guy Fawkes masks

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Define Hacking


The Singapore Police Force (SPF)'s explanation maintains that a photo is circulating online, showing that the SPF website has been "hacked". The photoshopped image apparently is deemed offensive, and the SPF is asking you not to circulate the photo any further. Somebody had to ask the obvious: If the SPF website was not "hacked" are we to presume that the "inappropriate image" was placed there by the SPF Web Administrator?

The confusion comes about because the Information Development Authority (IDA) is screaming blue in the face: The prime minister's office website was compromised, not hacked! The distinction is crucial to some party's career plans because, as pointed out by IDA's Assistant Chief Executive James Kang, the cross-site scripting vulnerability was not protected by a security patch which had been released earlier. The patch is now being applied across all government websites, an obvious effort to close the barn door after the horse has bolted. Let's hope some $2 company won't be paid $130 million for off-the-shelf software

To split hairs over "compromise" and "hack" is tantamount to straining at gnats and swallowing camels. In computer security context, a hacker is someone who seeks and exploits weaknesses in a computer system or network - such as inserting script into the Google search bar

"Compromised" image left at the Istana website

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PM Lee: Law will come down hard on hackers
BT 20131115 UWPMLEE15 839457
He calls for regional cooperation against hackers and Asean integration in ICT

CONDEMNING the recent hacking incidents in Singapore as crimes, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong promised that those found guilty would be dealt with "to the full extent of the law" by the courts.

"We must not condone such malicious and harmful behaviour. It is not a prank when someone hacks websites and intrudes into computer systems. It is, in fact, a criminal act," he said yesterday.

Mr Lee was addressing some 200 people at the opening ceremony of the two-day Asean Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers (Telmin) meeting at the Raffles City Convention Centre.

related: Asean warned, step up cyber defence

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Has the cyber war begun?

Anonymous hackers have declared war on Singapore with a pledge to hit at official infrastructure. This has left Singaporeans with a sense of foreboding about what is to come.

An aura of uncertainty, even fear, has crept into this intelligent island where the computer widely affects every home, office and school.

Since an anonymous network of hackers threatened war on the government and its infrastructure, many official websites – including the Prime Minister’s Office – became inaccessible for a long period.

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IDA BLAMES THE GOOGLE SEARCH BAR FOR PMO AND ISTANA HACKS YESTERDAY EVENING

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) has confirmed today that the hacking of the PMO and Istana websites late yesterday evening was done through an exploit of the search function on both the websites.

They highlighted the fact that both the Istana and PMO websites were still functioning fine and that only the search functions were affected.

They also went to the trouble of pointing out that it was a vulnerability within the Google search bar that they had installed on the websites and not really with the website itself.

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After Threats of a Crackdown, Hackers Deface PM Lee’s Website

The official website of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was given a brief makeover on Thursday, courtesy of the hacktivist collective Anonymous. Rather than official photos and text, visitors to the site were greeted with a white Guy Fawkes mask – a tribute to the failed British revolutionary and a symbol of the group’s often anti-establishment causes – as well as a banner that sarcastically stated “It’s great to be Singaporean today.”

They cyberattack followed a week of tough talk from Lee, who publicly vowed to take action against members of Anonymous.

“Our IT network, the Internet, our communications have become an essential part of our business and our lives now. If your network is down, you can’t connect, you can’t work, you can’t keep in touch with what’s happening in the world, with what’s happening whether if it’s in your business, your family, or in Singapore,” Lee told Singaporean newspaper Today. “When somebody threatens to do harm to it, we take that very seriously and we will spare no effort to try and track down the culprits and if we can find him, we will bring him to justice and he will be dealt with severely.”

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Why Was Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore Prime Minister, Targeted In Anonymous Attack #OpSingapore?
Anonymous
Days after Anonymous led its Million Mask March global protest, the hacktivist collective launched yet another cyberattack, this time on the website of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

According to the Daily Dot, the Southeast Asian country has earmarked $104 million for security updates.

Lee’s comments provoked a quick response from Anonymous, who defaced a section of the Singapore government’s website on Thursday. The hacked website featured an illustration of the Guy Fawkes mask and a mocking headline that read: “It’s great to be Singaporean today.”

Another message from the group read: “ANONYMOUS SG WAS HERE BIATCH.”
The defaced comments were taken down quickly and the site’s operations were otherwise normal, Raw Story reported.

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Singaporean PM and presidential websites hacked

Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority is investigating hacking attacks on sections of the official websites of Singapore's prime minister and the president.

The Internet and phone regulator IDA said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's official site was compromised late Thursday night, Todayonline reported.

A section of the Istana website -- the site of President Tony Tan's official residence -- was hacked into at around 12.20 a.m. this morning [Nov. 8]

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Anons hack Singaporean PM's website after he vows to hunt hackers
Anons hack Singaporean PM's website after he vows to hunt hackers

Hacktivists of the Anonymous group have hacked the website of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong just a day after he promised to track down anyone jeopardizing Singapore's cyber security.

On Wednesday, Premier Lee said that attempts to do harm to Singapore's information infrastructure would be taken seriously and that no effort would be spared to track down and punish the culprits.

Earlier, the Anonymous threatened to penetrate the Singaporean government's data infrastructure in protest against new restrictions on news websites.

related: Anonymous hacks Singapore newspaper website

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Websites of Singapore president, PM hacked
This file photo shows Singapore President Tony Tan speaking to the media during a press conference on August 28, 2011
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

While the defaced section of www.istana.gov.sg had been take offline by early afternoon, screengrabs widely circulated on social media showed the image of a stern-looking elderly woman raising a middle finger. Its authenticity could not be independently verified.

It was accompanied by the words "JIAK LIAO BEE!", a mildly offensive term in Hokkien, a southern Chinese dialect, referring to people who get paid for doing nothing.

Unlike the hacking of the prime minister's website, there was no indication of the involvement of Anonymous in the attack on the Istana page.

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Hackers target Singapore PM
 (Source: ONE News)

Hackers claiming links to international hacking group Anonymous defaced Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's official website, one day after he said authorities would spare no effort to track them down.

Local media and bloggers said the hackers had posted an image of a Guy Fawkes mask on the Singapore prime minister's office (PMO) website with the words "It's great to be Singaporean today".

The image had been placed above a story that quoted Lee saying authorities "will spare no effort" to bring the hackers to justice.

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Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong's website hacked by Anonymous
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's official website was briefly hacked Thursday by apparent members of activist group Anonymous
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's official website was briefly hacked Thursday by apparent members of activist group Anonymous

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's official website was briefly hacked Thursday by apparent members of activist group Anonymous after he vowed to hunt down anyone who attacks the city-state's technological network.

"It's great to be Singaporean today," read a mocking headline in a section of pmo.gov.sg next to the group's trademark Guy Fawkes mask, a symbol of anti-establishment defiance worldwide.

Next to it was another image saying: "PM Lee warns hackers: We will track you down -- even if you think you're 'anonymous'".

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Websites of Singapore president hacked

Activist hacker group Anonymous is seen through the internet government website of Singapore Prime Minister Office circulated online on a smartphone in Singapore on November 7, 2013. Photo - AFP 

The websites of Singapore's president and prime minister have been hacked after it vowed to crack down on activist group Anonymous, which is demanding greater Internet freedom in the city-state, officials confirmed on Friday.

A "subpage" of the website of the Istana, the official residence of President Tony Tan, was "compromised" early to day, telecommunication officials said without giving details.

The hacking happened about an hour after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's website displayed mocking messages and pictures from Anonymous, which is demanding the scrapping of rules requiring Singapore news websites to obtain annual licenses.

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Istana website hacked on Friday morning: IDA
XIN MSN News, 8 Nov 2013
In a statement issued on Friday, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said a subpage for search on the PMO website was reported to be compromised on 7 November 2013 at 11.17pm while the Istana website was hacked at 12.20am on Friday.

In a later statement, IDA said the PMO and Istana main websites are still working, and it will restore the compromised pages as soon as possible. Full story

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Subpage on PM Lee's website hacked

Vulnerability was exploited to display pages from other sources, said IDA

A subpage on the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) website was hacked into late on Thursday night (Nov 7).

A “vulnerability”, known as cross-site scripting, in that subpage was reported to be exploited at 11.17pm to display pages from other sources, said the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) in a statement issued at about 1.30am this morning (Nov 8).

Cross-site scripting, one of the more common hacking techniques, exploits vulnerabilities in web-based applications, their servers or plug-in systems to fold malicious content into the content being delivered from the compromised site

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Anonymous hacks Singapore PM’s website
iol news pic Lee Hsien Loong
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's official website was briefly hacked by apparent members of activist group Anonymous after he vowed to hunt down anyone who attacks the city-state's technological network. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

The hacking took place a day after Lee told local journalists that his government would “spare no effort” in going after Anonymous members who last week threatened to wage a cyber war against Singapore.

“Our IT network, the Internet, our communications have become an essential part of our business and our lives now,” the Today newspaper quoted him as saying.

“And, therefore, when somebody threatens to do harm to it... we take that very seriously and we will spare no effort to try and track down the culprits and if we can find him, we will bring him to justice and he will be dealt with severely.”

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Singapore PM's office web page hacked


Lee said Wednesday that Singapore authorities will "spare no effort" to track down culprits who launch cyber-attacks even though they think they can hide behind the internet's veil of anonymity.

"It is not a laughing matter. It's not just anything goes, and you're anonymous, therefore there's no responsibility. You may think you are anonymous. We will make that extra effort to find out who you are," he said.

Lee acknowledged that no cyber security precautions are perfect, but the government is making efforts to boost the systems to reduce vulnerability.

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Section of Singapore PM’s site hacked into
PMO website
The website still works, but the search function has been taken off

A “subpage” on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s official website was hacked into late last night, days after he said the Singapore government will hunt down culprits responsible for launching cyber attacks on the country.

The attackers, apparently from activist group Anonymous, succeeded in placing its messages on the website. One of them read “It’s great to be Singaporean today”, while another proclaimed “ANONYMOUS SG WAS HERE BIATCH”.

The Infocomm Development Authority confirmed around 1.30am this morning that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) site had indeed been attacked.

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PMO site hacked


A day after the PM declared that the government would spare not effort to hunt down the hackers, they had struck back. They threw some stones against our wall and left enough evidence that they were here. They would loved to score a bigger hit but that is not to be.

Won't be surprised if they are identified and perhaps caught soon.

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Singapore PM’s website hacked by Anonymous


“It’s great to be Singaporean today,” read a mocking headline in a section of www.pmo.gov.sg next to the group’s trademark Guy Fawkes mask, a symbol of anti-establishment defiance worldwide.

Next to it was another image saying: “PM Lee warns hackers: We will track you down — even if you think you’re ‘anonymous’”.

Another message read: “ANONYMOUS SG WAS HERE BIATCH”, using a pejorative in online youth slang.

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Hackers triumph, property prices fall: Singapore getting less rich and secure

The Straits Times reported:
“Data was not compromised and users were not affected,” said Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) assistant chief executive James Kang at a press conference.
The hacker, or hackers, used a technique called “cross site scripting (XSS)” and exploited a vulnerability in the embedded Google search bar which helps users to search for items within the site.
The attacks were designed to make the webpages look like the hackers had gained access into the sites when they had merely overlaid images over the webpages.
“We detected the exploits within 15 minutes and disabled the search bars within the hour,” added Mr Kang.
The point is not whether the data was compromised or whether the users were affected or how quickly the attacks were detected and action taken. The point is the Prime Minister’s and President’s websites were hacked. They are the leaders of the nation. Their websites, like their persons, should have the highest security. And it failed.

The Real Singapore website said:
Although this was not a direct hack of the website, it was an attack that showed clearly that the PMO website still had embarrassing vulnerabilities despite their team of IT experts working to “strengthen security” recently in response to the threats made.
This type of work-around is quite a basic technique which could be crafted by anyone with a little bit of web design knowledge. It is sad that $130 million worth of IT technology could not get rid of such a basic and obvious vulnerability.
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PMO website hacked after PM Lee issued warnings to Anonymous hackers


The Real Singapore, 8 Nov 2013


Following Lee Hsien Loong’s insistence that they will “hunt down” and bring hackers to "justice", the anonymous legion has chosen to launch an attack on the PMO website to show them that they still have vulnerabilities in their website.

The above screenshot was taken by a netizen and sent in to TRS at about midnight on the night of the 7th Nov​. Other netizens also saw the 'hack' and shared the hacked link on facebook. Full story

Related:
Spore PM vows to hunt down and severely punish Anonymous hackers - XIN MSN
Singapore PM's website hacked by Anonymous - Yahoo! News New Zealand
Singapore prime minister's office web page hacked - Global Times
Singapore Prime Minister’s Office Website Hacked After Lee Warns - Bloomberg
Section of Singapore PM’s site hacked into - Techgoondu
Anonymous hacks Singapore PM to protest media crackdown - RT.com
Singapore PM's office web page hacked - China.org.cn
Singapore PM’s website hacked by Anonymous - Vietnam Breaking New
Anonymous hacks Singapore PM website - ZDNet.com
Singapore PM's website defaced by hackers - Reuters India
Anonymous Was Here Biatch! Hacker Group Defaces Sg Leader’s Site - Time.com
Anonymous hackers take down Singapore PM's website - The Times Of India
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We are Anonymous

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Full coverage:
Times of Oman: Websites of Singapore president, PM hacked
Sin Chew Jit Poh: Singapore PM's office, Istana websites hacked
Malaysia Chronicle: Not even Super-efficient S'pore can hold out: PM's Istana
RT: Anonymous hacks Singapore PM to protest media crackdown
Independent Online‎: Anonymous hacks Singapore PM's website
Bernama: S'pore Will Spare No Effort To Bring Cyber Attackers To Justice: PM Lee
XinMSN: S'pore Will Spare No Effort To Bring Cyber Attackers To Justice - PM Lee
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related:
"Anonymous" Hackers arrested & charged in Court