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Thursday June 16, 2011

Websites defaced before deadline set by hacker group

PETALING JAYA: Local websites have been hacked ahead of the deadline set by a foreign-based hacker group, Anonymous, that said it would attack the Malaysian Government portal at 3.30am today.

On the micro-blogging site Twitter yesterday evening, there were reports that 27 sites in total had been hacked.

But these were not named and there was no confirmation from the authorities as to the accuracy of the tweets.

Among the sites known to have been hacked was the Sabah Tourism website, www.sabahtourism.com. The defaced site was spotted early yesterday by the chief executive of a company that organises security conferences.

“A portion of the website was deleted when I saw it,” said Dhillon Andrew Kannabhiran, who heads Hack In The Box (M) Sdn Bhd. “I had just returned from an overseas trip.”

The Sabah Tourism website has since gone offline.

F-Secure Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd, a computer security software company, corroborated Dhillon's account.

Goh Su Gim, its security adviser for Asia, said the Sabah Tourism site was compromised.

“Worse still, the data from 392 user accounts were stolen from the site and released to the public,” he said.

The data that was posted online were e-mail addresses and passwords.

On the webpage where the hackers posted the data, they claimed they had the details of more than 3,400 users from the Sabah Tourism site, but they were only exposing the 392.

The hackers also claimed to be Anonymous members and that they meant no harm, and only wanted to show the vulnerability of this site.

According to Dhillon, the www.tourmalaysia.com.my site was also hacked and defaced yesterday. He had checked the site after viewing the hacked Sabah Tourism website. It was defaced with words that included “Deface by Kambeng Merah: Credit to DarkJawa.”

Another website hacked was www.cidb.gov.my, which belongs to the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

It was defaced with a long message that scolded the Government for censoring the Internet. However, a while later, the site was back to normal.

Dhillion said he believed these sites may not have been hacked by Anonymous.

“The hacker group is into co-ordinated attacks and keeps to its word when it comes to launching its attacks,” he said. “These are likely independent hackers taking advantage of the publicity.”

CyberSecurity Malaysia, responsible for the nation's borders in cyberspace, confirmed that several websites were hacked. But it declined to say how many and which were the sites.

“At present, we are not able to elaborate further,” said Lt Col (Rtd) Datuk Husin Jazri, chief executive officer of CyberSecurity.

He said rectification works were being conducted by the relevant authorities to address the situation.

Anonymous had threatened to hack the www.malaysia.gov.my portal to protest against the Government's censorship of the Internet and because Malaysia had blocked 10 filesharing sites.

These sites were among the most visited by Malaysians to illegally download movies.

Related Story:
Cops probing website hackings

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