Hackers try to bring down Singapore government websites

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hackingThe Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore confirmed that hackers had attempted to bring down government websites on Tuesday, local media reported on November 9.

International hacker organisation Anynomous had called for a protest to be mounted on November 12  in protest against the government ‘s new website licensing rules, though few people turned up.

The Infocomm Development Authority disclosed the attacks on November 8, 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.

James Kang, assistant chief executive of the Infocomm Development Authority, said that the intrusions did not compromise the integrity of the websites in any way, and the main web pages are all running.

The hacker, or hackers, only managed to exploit a vulnerability in the embedded search bar on the Prime Minister’s Office site that helps users to search for items within the site.

“Data was not compromised, the site was not down and users were not affected,” Kang said.

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,” Kang said.

Kang said that many government websites encountered unusual spikes in traffic throughout the day on Tuesday as hackers attempted to bring them down through “distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS),” he told a press conference.

DDoS is a technique to take down a site by overwhelming it with huge amounts of Internet traffic.

Separately, security software firm Trend Micro said its analysis showed the Prime Minister’s Office site “remains intact, with visits unaffected.”

“The Singapore government will continue to be on heightened vigilance,” said Kang, adding that it includes the checking and fixing of vulnerabilities.

While this is in progress, access to government websites may experience intermittent problems, he said.

Apparent members of Anonymous recently uploaded a video message threatening to attack the Internet infrastructure of the Singapore government, urging it to reconsider a regulatory framework that requires influential news portals to be licensed. The websites of local daily Straits Times and a secondary airport were hacked.

Lee said on 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.

He 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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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore confirmed that hackers had attempted to bring down government websites on Tuesday, local media reported on November 9.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

hackingThe Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore confirmed that hackers had attempted to bring down government websites on Tuesday, local media reported on November 9.

International hacker organisation Anynomous had called for a protest to be mounted on November 12  in protest against the government ‘s new website licensing rules, though few people turned up.

The Infocomm Development Authority disclosed the attacks on November 8, 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.

James Kang, assistant chief executive of the Infocomm Development Authority, said that the intrusions did not compromise the integrity of the websites in any way, and the main web pages are all running.

The hacker, or hackers, only managed to exploit a vulnerability in the embedded search bar on the Prime Minister’s Office site that helps users to search for items within the site.

“Data was not compromised, the site was not down and users were not affected,” Kang said.

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,” Kang said.

Kang said that many government websites encountered unusual spikes in traffic throughout the day on Tuesday as hackers attempted to bring them down through “distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS),” he told a press conference.

DDoS is a technique to take down a site by overwhelming it with huge amounts of Internet traffic.

Separately, security software firm Trend Micro said its analysis showed the Prime Minister’s Office site “remains intact, with visits unaffected.”

“The Singapore government will continue to be on heightened vigilance,” said Kang, adding that it includes the checking and fixing of vulnerabilities.

While this is in progress, access to government websites may experience intermittent problems, he said.

Apparent members of Anonymous recently uploaded a video message threatening to attack the Internet infrastructure of the Singapore government, urging it to reconsider a regulatory framework that requires influential news portals to be licensed. The websites of local daily Straits Times and a secondary airport were hacked.

Lee said on 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.

He 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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