Anonymous leaks Singapore govt employees' personal data

Anonymous leaks Singapore govt employees' personal data

Summary: In response to recent arrests in Singapore linked to Anonymous, the hacktivist group is threatening to release more personal info unless it sees "a sense of justice and fairness" from the government.

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Hacktivist group Anonymous has threatened to make public the personal data of employees linked to the Singapore government, in response to recent arrests of individuals linked to the group which it has deemed unfair.

The personal information of 10 people was part of a statement shared with ZDNet, which it plans to make public over the next day. This included their names, government e-mail addresses, birthdates, nationalities, passport numbers and mobile phone numbers.

"Ball is in your court, start showing a sense of justice and fairness, or you will find yourself facing the final boss of the internet, you are an island, we are a legion that spans the entire globe."
- "Anonymous"

Anonymous described the list as "the tail end of a file containing the personal information of thousands of people associated with a certain Singaporean security corporation that does much business with the government".

It pointed out this list contained specifically just a handful of the records relating to government employees. Based on the e-mail addresses, the people on the list are from a range of agencies such as the Singapore Prison Service, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), national water agency PUB, Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Library Board (NLB), Singapore Police Force (SPF), National Environment Agency (NEA), Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), and Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

"Ball is in your court, start showing a sense of justice and fairness, or you will find yourself facing the final boss of the internet, you are an island, we are a legion that spans the entire globe," Anonymous said in the statement.

However, checks by ZDNet found the currency and accuracy of the list were inconsistent and some data outdated. While some sets of information were correct, it also contained a few phone numbers that were no longer in use, at least one set of passport numbers did not match up with birthday information, and some e-mail addresses were not current.

pastebin
Anonymous takes issue with the Singapore government over recent arrests of hackers in a statement posted on a pastebin. (credit: ZDNet)

Taking issue with recent arrests

Anonymous took issue with two arrest cases last November. One involved James Raj Arokiasamy, alleged to be the hacker under the moniker "Messiah", linked to the defacement of at least one government Web site. The group took issue with what it deemed to be a "heavy handed approach" by Singapore authorities in their treatment of James, who allegedly had his access to legal counsel impeded while undergoing tests at the Institute of Mental Health for his psychiatric condition.

The other case involved Melvin Teo and Delson Moo, arrested for modifying the contents of a government server via a cross-site scripting exploit. Anonymous described the second case as "stretches credulity to breaking point" with the actual charges "nonsensical".

Investigations into possible breach underway

In response to the cyberthreat, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) told ZDNet it was looking into any possible compromise of employee records and has alerted the police.

"The Singapore Government takes cybersecurity seriously. We do not condone actions designed to intimidate the government," said the IDA spokesperson. The infocomms regulator added all agencies currently have to comply with government IT security policies and best practices such as conducting regular security tests, scans for vulnerabilities as well as conducting security reviews and audits.

Security policies include the requirement to protect all their data against unauthorized access, disclosure or modification, whether accidental or intentional. "Where third party vendors are involved, service level agreements are in place to ensure that they maintain the required level of security," IDA added.

Last month, the hacktivist group issued a statement on Pastebin calling for a Tweet Storm on government Twitter accounts in a move to protest against other arrests and a recently introduced licensing scheme for local news sites.

However, plans to apparently get a flood of Tweets to overwhelm those accounts did not appear to materialize. IDA had also played down the threat then, saying the "tweetstorm will not affect Government network infrastructure".

Updated 12.36am February 8, 2014 with IDA response

Update 9am February 8, 2014: The statement by Anonymous has been made public over a pastebin, but we are not linking to it due to the sensitivity of some information.

Topics: Privacy, Government Asia, Security, Singapore

About

Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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Talkback

14 comments
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  • Do it my way...or else

    I suppose it's better than threatening to kill people, but the lynch mob mentality remains.
    John L. Ries
    • Do it "my" way

      Your problem is that you're focusing on the messenger and not the message. If you detach the "way" from who ("my") wants it, whose way is better? Is it the Singapore government's?

      I don't feel qualified to make a conclusion about that, but you appear to be.
      Eumenes
      • But...

        ...two wrongs never make one right.
        No one here has defended the corruption and inefficiencies of Singapore Gov't.
        PreachJohn
      • The best way to fight machine politics...

        ...is with in-person activism, even if it loses you a slander suit or two, even if it costs you your job, and even if it gets you thrown in jail on spurious charges. Publicly advocate the right things, accept the consequences, do no harm to anyone, give nobody a legitimate excuse to prosecute you, and make the bosses be the bad guys out in the open where everybody can see.
        John L. Ries
  • So Anonymous feels they are above the law, and above their fellow man

    as they claim to be doing this all for their fellow man, but also feel they shouldn't be arrested for doing illegal things.

    The hypocrites.
    William.Farrel
    • It's not hypocrisy

      It's arrogance. Couched in the anarchist rhetoric is the assumption that those associated with Anonymous have the right and duty to force other people to behave in accordance with their standards (which are never explicitly stated). We may disagree about the extent to which it's appropriate for governments to do that, but few argue that it's appropriate for private individuals and institutions to do so.

      Coercion takes many forms; the threat to use physical force is only one of them. Blackmail is another. The threat to disable one's servers is a third.

      Real activism is about persuasion. This isn't it. I won't call it "terrorism", because it doesn't involve physical violence (yet), but I won't call it legitimate, no matter what the goals are.
      John L. Ries
  • A RePost Of Mine

    Ries is right; 'Arrogance'. And Farrel is right as well; 'Hypocrites'.
    Tho' not specific to Singapore, 'Anonymous' is making more powerful enemies yet. And they can be sure Mossad hasn't got them off their radar quite yet.

    "Methinks Anonymous Will Regret This Action:
    Their astounding arrogance is derived largely from their gutless
    anonymity, which the faceless despotic freaks hide behind. They think they are insulated and inviolate thereby. They should think again. The Net is always a two way Street.
    When you attack the 'Never Again' People, you may have bitten off more than you can chew, having more than met your match.
    In matters cyberspace and such, some of the most adept and brilliant minds emanate from the Israelis. Mark my words. Few spooks like Mossad motivated and unleashed, as a poster above also opined. Few with the ability to retaliate with a vengeance as these Israelis riled. In matters cyberspace or otherwise. Be afraid Anonymous. Be plenty afraid.
    http://www.zdnet.com/anonymous-takes-on-israeli-websites-wipes-jerusalem-bank-7000007537/"
    PreachJohn
    • Forgot about that post

      I agree that it's not a happy thing to have Mossad on your tail. Anonymous already has the FBI after them, resulting in a number of arrests, but the FBI usually observes some semblance of due process, so you get a court date, a jury trial, and a lawyer. The Anons could go for the triple crown and tick off the FSB, but I really don't recommend it.
      John L. Ries
      • FSB

        Greenpeace recently, and certain would be Airline Hijackers got a rude shock when they came against Russian Authorities. No kid leather leather gloves but an iron fist to the kisser. Questions come after maybe.
        Your point on FSB is well made.
        And I forgot to add them to the growing list of powerful enemies Anonymous is making an awful habit of attracting.
        PreachJohn
        • Maybe Anonymous is more careful than we think

          Anonymous could have come to the defence of Pussy Riot and didn't. It could still try to punish the Russian authorities for announcing that Bitcoin is illegal.

          I don't like the way Vladimir Putin runs his country (sentimental attachment to democracy and human rights, probably), but he is rather good at making that sure people don't mess with his government.
          John L. Ries
  • I would not want to be them

    It's funny what ever gets released these guys (Singapore gov employes) are in for a good old fashion country beat down. I lived in the area for many years and Singapore has the worst laws ever. Maybe they should reform and loosen up a bit ? My family is in tne six figure income and we will never return to Singapore due to the stupid laws there!!

    In closing I think that the info provided was real but the authorities decided to make it look fake to discredit tne people involved .

    Hack the hell out of that piss pot island were all behind you !!!
    Salex25
  • I would not want to be them

    It's funny what ever gets released these guys (Singapore gov employes) are in for a good old fashion country beat down. I lived in the area for many years and Singapore has the worst laws ever. Maybe they should reform and loosen up a bit ? My family is in tne six figure income and we will never return to Singapore due to the stupid laws there!!

    In closing I think that the info provided was real but the authorities decided to make it look fake to discredit tne people involved .

    Hack the hell out of that piss pot island were all behind you !!!
    Salex25
    • Rebuttal

      If they are as backward a Nation as you make them out to be, then consistent with that, the information is probably 'inaccurate and outdated'.
      And no; did you read the above Posts?---We're not all behind you.
      PreachJohn
    • I suspect...

      ...that one of the reasons for the stupid laws is to discourage those not willing to follow them from living there. You were free to leave, you did so, and it cost the country whatever you happened to be contributing (hopefully, for your sake, your presence was a net gain). The politicians get to decide whether or not the allegedly stupid laws (I personally have mixed feelings about them, but I've never been there) are worth the cost. And who knows? If the locals get annoyed enough, Singapore might end up with a viable political opposition (wise bosses try very hard to make sure that doesn't happen, and we're discussing old fashioned bossism here, not heavy handed dictatorship).

      If you live in a foreign country, then you're a guest in someone else's house, so it behooves you to act accordingly (if you can't do that, then go elsewhere). And if you were a Singaporean citizen, then be thankful you had other options.
      John L. Ries