Istana website hacker fined S$8,000 for unauthorised access to server

Businessman Delson Moo arrives in court for alleged hacking of Istana site. He was arrested on Thursday. (Yahoo Photo)

The man behind the defacement of the Istana website at the height of Singapore’s “Anonymous” crisis was on Thursday fined S$8,000 for his act.

Businessman Delson Moo, 43, was charged in late November for carrying out a cross-site scripting attack on the Google search function of the website for the Singapore President’s office. With the script, he was able to input text and images that would display from a use of the site’s search function.

Moo was also accused of adding the image of an elderly woman pointing her middle finger, with an insulting Hokkien phrase running below it. This happened as events surrounding threats made by a hacker claiming to be part of the “Anonymous” collective against the Singapore government were coming to a head. There was a series of other attacks on various government websites, putting the authorities on high alert against cyber security compromises and invasions.

State broadcaster Channel NewsAsia reported that Moo pleaded guilty to one charge of unauthorised access to the server hosting the Istana website, with two other charges taken into consideration in sentencing.

Other cases

In late November, 17-year-old Melvin Teo was also charged over a similar attack on the same website, where he added the phrase, “Patrick Tan for the win!” to text on one of its pages.

Meanwhile, James Raj Arokiasamy, the man alleged to be behind the moniker “The Messiah”, remains in custody for various incidents of hacking and defacement of websites including those of singer Sun Ho, The Straits Times and the Ang Mo Kio Town Council. His case will be next mentioned next week.

During that period, the website for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s office was also defaced by hackers claiming to be from the “Anonymous” collective, with an image of the group’s trademark Guy Fawkes mask accompanying a headline reading, “It’s great to be Singaporean today”. Two brothers were arrested and charged for the defacement attack in early December.