A hacker who claims to be a member of the collective Anonymous infiltrated a Singapore newspaper by the name of The Straits Times.
The hacker, calling himself/herself The Messiah, attacked the paper, claiming that The Straits Times published a misleading report pertaining to a video published by Anonymous. Anonymous has injected itself into Singapore’s affairs in response to the country’s new licensing regulations for news sites. According to Bloomberg, starting on June 1st, Singapore’s government “required websites that regularly publish news on the city state to be licensed and pay a S$50,000 (U.S.$40,200) bond, to be forfeited on the publication of “prohibited content” that “undermines racial or religious harmony.”
In the Youtube video below, Anonymous stated that “We demand you reconsider the regulations of your framework or we will be forced to go to war with you.” The voice in the video went on to say that “For every time you deprive a citizen his right to information, we will cost you financial loss by aggressive cyber intrusion.” Towards the end of the video, the voice issued an eerie warning, uttering the phrase “Remember the 5th of November.” Anonymous has a history of conduction operations on November 5th, which is a reference to the film ‘V for Vendetta’. The film also popularized the Guy Fawkes masks commonly worn by those affiliated with Anonymous.
The government of Singapore has responded by putting all government agencies on alert and law enforcement entities have filed a report. Singapore Press Holdings, the company that owns The Straits Times, has since removed the hacked blog from its site and is investigating the matter.
Will Anonymous indeed launch a crushing attack on Singapore’s government on November 5th? There’s only one way to find out. Stay tuned, and just be relieved if you’re nowhere near there. We’ll follow up on this story accordingly.