Singapore urges regional cooperation against hackers

November 14, 2013
Activist hacker group Anonymous hacked the government website of Singapore's Prime Minister on November 7, 2013

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called Thursday for stronger Southeast Asian cooperation against cyber threats after his own website was hacked by critics demanding greater Internet freedom.

"I do not think any country has been spared. So we have to strengthen our defences and cooperate to deal with these common threats," he told a conference of regional telecommunication and information-technology ministers.

He said websites in Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia had also been "compromised" and vowed to prosecute culprits in Singapore "to the full extent of the law".

Five Singaporeans are being questioned on suspicion of hacking the websites of the and the president last week.

Lee's official was hacked by apparent members of global activist group Anonymous demanding that Singapore rescind recent rules requiring news websites to obtain annual government licences, which critics see as an attempt to curtail online press freedom.

"We must not condone such malicious and harmful behaviour. It is not a prank when someone hacks websites and intrudes into computer systems. It is in fact, a criminal act," Lee said.

"At a minimum it inconveniences the public, but potentially it has much graver consequences. It can damage infrastructure and endanger lives. For example, if the computer systems hacked control the electricity grid, or the water supply, or a hospital management system, or a banking system."

Experts told AFP after a recent spate of attacks in Asia that hackers can use weaknesses in one country to intrude into a better-protected information system in another. They called on governments and businesses to update cyber security defences against increasingly sophisticated threats.

Explore further: Singapore boosts cyber defences after 'Anonymous' threat

Related Stories

Singapore vows to hunt down Anonymous hackers

November 6, 2013

Singapore will "spare no effort" to hunt down hackers from activist group Anonymous who last week threatened to wage a cyber war against the government, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Wednesday.

Singapore PM's website hacked by Anonymous

November 7, 2013

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's official website was hacked Thursday by apparent members of activist group Anonymous after he vowed to hunt down anyone who attacks the city-state's technological network.

Websites of Singapore president, PM hacked

November 8, 2013

The websites of Singapore's president and prime minister have been hacked after PM vowed to crack down on activist group Anonymous, which is demanding greater Internet freedom in the city-state, officials confirmed on Friday.

Hackers expose Asia's weak cyber defences

November 9, 2013

A rash of website hackings in the Asia-Pacific has exposed weak cyber defences which must be improved to help the region deal with more sophisticated and sinister threats, particularly from criminal organisations, analysts ...

Recommended for you

Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

November 26, 2015

Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed—curly top gumweed—was ...

Glider pilots aim for the stratosphere

November 20, 2015

Talk about serendipity. Einar Enevoldson was strolling past a scientist's office in 1991 when he noticed a freshly printed image tacked to the wall. He was thunderstruck; it showed faint particles in the sky that proved something ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.