Sunday, March 2, 2008
Issue 270, Page 1
Word count: 353
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The government’s central internet portal was hijacked yesterday by an unknown internet hacker.

Lasting for at least four hours the online government directory page, which usually lists department and agency contact details, and is linked with the government’s web portal www.gov.mo, displayed an emblem of a rose and crescent moon with the inscription “We Love Mohammed”.

The black page included the text: “Hacked by a13M, The Freedom Warriors” and “Greetz (greetings)” to a series of names which according to a number of internet sites also have a history of hacking.

The hacker signed the page with the email address a13m@bsdmail.org.

When first contacted, the Judiciary Police said they were unaware of the breach and advised the Macau Daily Times to contact the host of the directory, Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau (SAFP).

A few minutes later a police officer rang back requesting details of the site.

“We have notified the SAFP technicians and asked for further information so that we can start an investigation,” said police spokesman Chan Kin Hong.

By 10pm the entire SAFP site had been disabled.

Information Technology Manager of the Macau Inter-University Institute (IIUM), Justin Wan Si-un, told the MDT that websites in Macau had generally low security as “it was not a common place for hacking activities”.

He pointed out that, however, confidential information which will be uploaded in the Legal Affairs Bureau’s upcoming real estate registry website could be at risk of being stolen if the government did not strengthen internet security.

Mr Wan said he had heard of website intrusion in some local institutions and companies in the last couple of weeks, and was concerned there may be a number of hackers targeting Macau.

The hacked directory page, according to Mr Wan, indicated that the alleged intruder was unlikely malicious rather wanting to signal to the administrator that their website had poor security.

He said that a large number of hackers worked out of Russia and usually stole credit cards information and to sell domestically.

Government representatives who were contacted about security issues of the internet portal did not return phone calls last night.


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