A hacker who goes by the online handle “The Messiah” has been arrested by Singaporean authorities and charged under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act for carrying out suspected hack attacks against Ang Mo Kio Town Council’s website which started in September.
James Raj Arokiasamy, 35 of Dorchester Apartment at Jalan Sri Hartamas in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia committed the offence by accessing the content management system of the town council and modifying the contents by adding the image of a Guy Fawkes mask to the website on October 28 at about 1.35pm.
He also been held for three prior drug charges dating back to May 25, 2011.
He is said to have added a banner with the text: “I have been to various sites and seen how they take the initiative to secure their systems. You have a brain & you have money. You had a choice. Don’t blame external factors (Anonymous) for this hack. The Messiah ;)”.
The Singaporean Policesaid they worked very closely with the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) to track down the suspect in Malaysia and arrested him on 4 November 2013. He was subsequently brought back to Singapore and charged in Court on 5 November 2013 with three counts of the offence of Consumption of Controlled Drugs under Section 8(b) of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
While authorities says that he is acted alone, they accused him of being behind recent spate of hacking incidents, including websites belonging to City Harvest Church’s co-founder Sun Ho, The Straits Times blog and the People’s Action Party Community Foundation.
According to prosecution who have recommended that James be remanded in the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for a psychiatric evaluation, he told police that he suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, borderline disorder and has suicidal tendencies but later took back the words on yesterday saying the police took his words “out of context”.
If found guilty, the maximum punishment is a three-year jail term and a S$10,000 fine on the first conviction. On a second or subsequent conviction, the maximum sentence is five years’ jail and a S$20,000 fine.
For consuming drugs, James Raj is looking at 10 years’ jail and a S$20,000 fine on each count.
Police also said that they have established the identities of five suspects who hacked the websites belonging to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Istana. They said that the group consist of Singaporean men aged between 17 and 45.
Moreover, they have arrested 5 Singaporean men on charges of vandalism with writings purportedly linked again …. to the ‘Anonymous’ group.
Among those arrested were Muhammad Redzwan Baskin, 26, and 21-year-old Mohamad Fadzly Aziz.
Redzwan, who is charged with one charge under the Vandalism Act, is alleged to have sprayed “WE R ONE WE R LEGION WE DO NOT WE DO NOT FORGIVE WE DO NOT FORGET EXCEPT US! TSK” on the wall of the ramp at Scape with Fadzly, in reference to the Anonymous hacker collective.
All five suspects will be charged in Court on 12 November 2013 for offences of Vandalism with Common Intention under Section 3 of the Vandalism Act read with Section 34 of the Penal Code, which carries a punishment of imprisonment of up to three years or fine up to $2,000, and caning of not less than three strokes and not more than eight strokes.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the hacker and vandals do not know each other and their criminal acts were committed in isolation.
Singapore have been under attacks by groups claiming to be part of “Anonymous” including the ones on the official sites of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan.
The attacks have raised questions about the strength of cyber defenses in the wealthy Southeast Asian city-state.