STEPHANIE GARCIA WRITES – The online vigilante group Anonymous is at it again, with media giant Straits Times as its newest victim.
After threatening to wage cyber warfare with the Singapore government in a YouTube video on October 30, the international hacking organization executed attacks, not on the government, but on South East Asia’s biggest English language news outlet, Straits Times. Today Online, another publication under Singapore Press Holdings, reported that two days after the video post targeting the government, a portion of the Straits Times site was hijacked instead, with reporter Irene Tham’s blog page headlined, “Dear ST: You just got hacked for misleading the people!” The affected pages have since been taken down, with the reminder of the site operating as usual.
How exactly were readers allegedly misled? The Messiah, the surname of the Anonymous member claiming responsibility for the Web attack (and the hacking of pop star Sun Ho’s fan site earlier this year), asserts that the Straits Times misreported the content of the video. Instead of clarifying that only the Singapore government was being targeted, Anonymous rules ST as guilty of giving readers the impression that all Singaporeans were at risk of attack.
Furthermore, the original video urged Singaporeans to wear black and red and black out their Facebook profile pictures on November 5 in protest. The Messiah also promised to wreak devastation on the government’s cyber infrastructure that day, should the new online media regulations go into effect. The hacker accuses ST of neglecting to inform readers that war would be contingent on the implementation of the Web regulations.
These misreported details may seem petty, with the crime underserving of such punishment. Sorry Straits Times, but you should have known that Anonymous put its money where its mouse is.