November 4, 2013 / 8:54 AM / 6 years ago

Singapore Straits Times website down after hacker threat

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The website of Singapore’s largest newspaper, the pro-government Straits Times, was inaccessible for part of Monday, three days after a section of its site was successfully attacked by someone claiming to be from international hacking collective Anonymous.

An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code around the shadow of a man holding a laptop computer in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

“Some users might have had difficulty accessing the straitstimes.com website late last night and some SPH websites today ... The SPH Information Technology Division is investigating the matter”, publisher Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) (SPRM.SI) said in response to media queries.

The development comes a day after hackers claiming links to Anonymous defaced dozens of websites belonging to Australian businesses and Philippine government agencies.

The Straits Times site went offline around 9.30 a.m. Singapore time (0130 GMT) on Monday and came back up around 11 a.m. There was also a brief outage around 2 p.m. Several websites operated by other SPH publications were also down for part of the time.

The disruption comes three days after a hacker, who called himself “The Messiah”, posted a lengthy message on the paper’s online blog page to criticise its report about an internet video by someone claiming to be part of Anonymous.

That person, who wore one of the Guy Fawkes masks that have come to symbolise the group, had threatened to attack Singapore government websites to protest against new licensing rules on news websites.

Besides the websites run by SPH, whose publications generally adopt a pro-government stance, several Singapore websites were down on Saturday, for what the Infocommunications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) called scheduled maintenance.

IDA announced further routine maintenance to some government websites in the early hours of Monday.

The website of the National Trades Union Congress, closely associated with Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party, also appears to have technical problems, with its eServices now down.

English Catholic traitor Guy Fawkes was the best-known conspirator in a 17th-century plot to blow up the country’s parliament.

Reporting by Kevin Lim; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Clarence Fernandez

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