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‘Anonymous’ hackers threaten war with Singapore government

Update: The Messiah has hacked into a Straits Times blog.

A hacker group claiming to be the notorious Anonymous collective has put up a YouTube video promising that it will declare war on the Singapore government if it does not stand down from an internet licensing framework that critics have said restricts freedom of speech.

The video, which surfaced online two days ago, was removed from YouTube just minutes after it went viral on Facebook and Twitter today with over 4,000 shares. The video, however, has been reposted on Facebook, other channels on YouTube, and various video platforms.

The message goes: “the primary objective of our invasion was to protest the implementation of the internet licensing framework by giving you a sneak peak of the state of your cyberspace if the ridiculous, communistic, oppressive and offensive framework gets implemented.”

It continues: “We have faced much larger and more secured corporations such as the FBI and the NSA. Do you think the IDA will be a problem for us? … so mark our words when we say that we Anonymous stand firm on our belief that no Government has the right to deprive their citizens the freedom of information.”

The video then called on “fellow Singaporean brothers and sisters” to start a public protest by dressing in black and red on November 5 and blacking out their Facebook profile pictures.

Announced in May this year, the framework mandates that news websites exceeding 50,000 unique visitors in Singapore must put up a performance bond of S$50,000, following existing practices by broadcasters in the country. Ten online news sites, mostly government-related, were ordered to apply for licenses, with sg.news.yahoo.com being the only non-state-sanctioned site implicated.

Internet giants like Google, Facebook, and eBay have come out strongly against the move, issuing a joint statement saying that “this new regulation – and the regulatory trend that this may be indicative of – could unintentionally hamper Singapore’s ability to continue to drive innovation, develop key industries in the technology space and attract investment in this key sector.”

Hackers pestering Singapore government since last year

The video has stated that “The Messiah”, a pseudonym purported to belong to a single hacker under the Anonymous collective, is responsible for a series of hacks that have occurred in Singapore this year.

In September, the website of Sun Ho, the pop singer wife of a well-known megachurch pastor who is under trial for criminal breach of trust, was hacked by The Messiah. Then in October, websites for the Ang Mo Kio Town Council and PAP Community Foundation, both government-related organizations, were also breached under the same name. The video goes on:

Now close your eyes and imagine a legion of Anonymous unleashed upon your tiny little island and infrastructures. It will be like dipping yourselves into a pool of piranhas.

These acts followed a massive invasion last year where 17 government websites were hacked by a group called “HighTech Brazil HackTeam”, raising concerns about the government’s ability to safeguard its data.

This is not the first video announcement purportedly posted by Anonymous that is targeted at the tiny island state. In January this year, a video was put up protesting against the government’s projection of having seven million residents by 2030, up from 5.3 million today.

While the hackers say they belong to Anonymous, in reality the group is a loosely associated global network of individuals with a decentralized command structure. Any hacker can get involved in the group’s activities without the need to seek permission, claiming the collective’s banner as his own.

Singapore’s government-linked broadsheet The Straits Times has reported on the video threat. However, the reporter has couched it as a threat to attack Singapore, when in fact Anonymous explicitly stated that it is targeting the government.

Screenshot 2013-10-31 18.59.25

Straits Times’ headline.

Full transcript from the video:

We are Anonymous and we believe that we have your undivided attention.

We also believe that you have had the pleasure of meeting our comrade The Messiah, who demonstrated what a single Anon could do to your so call technologically advanced island.
Now allow us to explain the objective of our recent invasions.

The secondary objective was to welcome you to the new rule where ignoring the issues of your citizens will not go ignored by Anonymous. We advise you to stop feigning ignorance and serve the people.

Any form of arrogant and ignorant statement from a person of position towards the people will not go ignored by Anonymous.

Have you forgotten who you work for? Traditionally the workers respect the boss. Let us stick to tradition.

But the primary objective of our invasion was to protest the implementation of the internet licensing framework by giving you a sneak peak of the state of your cyberspace if the ridiculous, communistic, oppressive and offensive framework gets implemented.

Did i mention the previous hacks was executed by a single
Anonymous member?

Now close your eyes and imagine a legion of Anonymous unleashed upon your tiny little island and infrastructures. It will be like dipping yourselves into a pool of piranhas.

We have faced much larger and more secured corporations such as the F.B.I & the NSA.

Do you think the I.D.A will be a problem for us?

After all, security is just an illusion against time and temporary ignorance.

So mark our words when we say that we Anonymous stand firm on our belief that no Government has the right to deprive their citizens the freedom of information.

No one has the right to tell an individual what he can or cannot read or write.

This is a basic fundamental of democracy and we will use everything in our resources to protect it at all cost.

We demand you reconsider the regulations of your framework or we will be forced to go to war with you. For every single time you deprive a citizen his right to information, we will cost you financial loss by aggressive cyber intrusion. An intrusion your $130 million cyber security will not be able to stop.

After all how do you stop an idea?

You may be ambitious enough to try and stop us but remember, the people you are after are the people you depend on:

we cook your meals, we haul your trash, we teach your children, we pay your high salaries, we feed your families, we guard you while you sleep!

It is not wise to piss us off.

And finally we call upon our fellow Singaporean brothers and sisters to join our protest by dressing fully in black & red on the 5th of November to paint your streets with the colors that represent the current Singaporeans emotion.

We urge you to black out your FB profile picture for a day along with the status message:

I am a Singaporean and i had enough of being oppressed! I want my freedom back!!

Anonymous will be making a virtual protest by your side.

Let us demonstrate our frustrations in organized unseen unity that may live a thousand years. This action might not make a political change but it is the first step towards the mental conditioning needed to achieve our goals.

Remember, remember. The fifth of November.

We are anonymous, we are legion.
We do not forgive, we do not forget.
Expect Us!

(Editing by Josh Horwitz)


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