Istana Website Hacked; Singapore Cybercrime On The Rise

Dec 02, 2013 By Sharon Solomon

The list of hacked websites just keeps getting longer. The Istana website, official cyber-domain of Singapore’s Presidential Office, is the latest high-profile casualty. The Singaporean police have arrested two suspects, who have been charged under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, punishable by up to five years in prison.

The hacking took place on 8th November when the suspects, Delson Moo and Melvin Teo, initiated multiple XSS attacks on the website. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) admitted that lots of important content was lost due to the hacking.

The first suspect is a 42-year old businessman from Singapore, while Teo is just a 17-year old local student. The duo met randomly on Facebook, started chatting and before long their casual acquaintance blossomed into a full-fledged professional hacking partnership.

Moo and Teo allegedly gained access to the Istana website via the search function vulnerability. The results were disastrous – defaced pages and disabled features, uploading of insulting content in Hokkien and also the planting of offensive photos.  A classic Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability hacking incident.

“A stupid mistake,” Moo told reporters. “My hand was itchy and I got myself into trouble.”

Both hackers have been released on bail and now anxiously await their trial which is scheduled to start on Jan 24, 2014. First-time offenders in Singapore can receive up to three years of imprisonment, while people with criminal records can be punished with a maximum of five years in jail along with a fine of $20,000.

Cyber-crime in Singapore has been on the rise lately, with numerous cases of XSS and SQL Injection attacks on government and commercial websites alike. As a result of the hacker onslaught, The Monetary Authority of Singapore (SAS) now officially requires all FIS in the country to implement Source Code Analysis (SCA).

Source – Istana Website Compromised

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Sharon Solomon

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