TIA Insights

Sign up and have the pulse of tech & startups in Asia at your fingertips.


Yes, I care

‘Anonymous’ hackers threaten war with Singapore government

Terence Lee
Terence Lee
7:29 pm on Oct 31, 2013

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)


Read More
Get The Latest Tech News

By email:

   Daily newsletter

   Weekly summary

   Member-only content

Sign up now

Follow us:

   

   

Have Your Say
  • http://kitegirlcoach.com Annabelle Drumm

    Wow, that’s powerful stuff. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I expect a reaction will be drawn all around the world, not just in Singapore.

  • Hannah

    Anonymous, have you forgotten? There are more people who want to play safe than to play ‘cool’. I don’t think there will be any spectacular sight on the 5th of November unless you hack some coolness out of the govt again. Common, be more logical, the ones who want to protest most are busy working their butt off to provide for their families or fulfill their duties. I’m sure they won’t be around to watch YouTube and surf Facebook. Seems like you’re fighting alone huh? Peace.

  • Dominic Phua

    Hannah, what bullshit are you spewing? are you even Singaporean? Do you even know how viral this video has gotten and how much support this act by Anonymous is garnering in Singapore?

    The ones who want to protest the most aren’t the ones working their butt off. They are the second generation. My generation. Basically everyone from 12 all the way to 30. And these are the people that definitely will protest.

    They aren’t fighting alone because they have at least 30,000 if not more, Singaporeans on their side. So please, go and do more research on Singapore and its people before opening your mouth. Go and google how Singaporeans are listed as the most unhappy people in the world.

    Peace.

  • SGME

    Dominic Phua, what you say is partially right but you are saying that people are willing to go and get arrested for unlawful assembly and vandalism then I think you need to do more research on what the consequences are for doing this when most people are going to play it safe because the chances of this going through is slim. The SG goverment will not stand down. They will find Anon and arrest them and if you can’t believe that then you are not Singaporean because you do not have faith in you’re own country’s abilities to catch this hacker.

  • Anonymous

    SGME.. what bull unlawful assembly and vandalism are you talking about? Please read carefully before commenting. Don’t make yourself look stupid please.

  • Hannah

    Logically speaking, the hacker has no sense of logics. First, threatening Sg gov will not make them revise the nonsensical Internet license. The hacker left no other options for the govt but — to hunt down this Messiah (what name!). Giving in means shouting to the whole wide world (including China, Malaysia), “Sg IT security is vulnerable, hack me please!” His stupidity has backfired on his good intention (if it was good at all).

  • Hannah

    I’m pretty sure whoever goes online and demonstrates support to this hacking group is being observed. Data and all comments on this scandal will be saved for investigation. Just be careful, or else you might be one of the suspects :)!

    Btw, hacking is a cyber crime. And I’m not a Sporean.

  • Ng Chun Kiat

    I am a Singaporean in my twenties, born and bred in Singapore, did my 2 years army with 3rd Div Arty, and I do not approve of this cyber terrorist behavior. Just because the oppositions are more vocal doesn’t mean they can ignore or dismiss the others with different opinion. This is not democracy, the act itself is an oppressive move on people who feels good to be Singaporean. If most of us are suffering in Singapore, then its only right to decide collectively as Singaporeans to do away with whatever policies that is not beneficial. Having a few people to decide for all Singaporeans is definitely not democratic, more like tyranny.

  • Anonymous

    Observe us please. Most of us have nothing to hide but to support the cause. This is just an idea. An idea could not be eliminated.

  • A 17-year-old Singaporean

    The main problem is that this is going to be like the Occupy movement. There is no clear long-term goal, and the chances of achieving their immediate goal of getting the government to back down from the new licensing framework are dubious at best. This is not going to achieve anything besides sending a message to the government if enough people black out their Facebook profile pictures. So, no, Anonymous cannot make a decision for Singapore, it is up to Singaporeans to choose, because they themselves cannot achieve anything on their own, it is only when Singaporeans participate in large numbers that the government will take note. Whether the consequences of that are good or bad, nobody except the government knows, and in any case people will have different opinions on the consequences. If the government is going to track people who support the protest on the 5th, I do not think they will go after the protestors publicly lest they cause an even bigger hooha. But privately, I do not know, perhaps they will keep a database of people to be watched more carefully, but this is pure speculation. The reality is this is Singapore, even if the majority favour withdrawing the new framework, the government will not pander to the people. Look at the IRs, nearly 50% did not want them to be built but it still went on. Did they have a mandate to build them? I think not. The probable outcome of this if enough people participate is that the government realizes the people have power, but whether this is good or not nobody knows. The government might learn to respect the people, or place even more restrictions.

  • Anonymous

    Ng chun kiat. Normally I wouldn’t want to argue with an idiot as it will only make me look more stupid. Most singaporeans know who the real tyrant is. And you are just a govt troll.

  • A 17-year-old Singaporean

    To add on to my previous post, the fact that many Singaporeans are afraid to even wear red and black and black out their profile pic for one day says a lot about Singapore’s lack of freedom. There is the idea that whatever you do now may haunt you in the future so you play nice instead. Such is the reality of living in a “guided democracy”. And that is exactly what the government wants. They give the bare minimum of freedoms to stay in power while not becoming a pariah state. If there is a new world order by China, who knows, democracy might become useless so they’ll just throw it away. The government’s education and propaganda machine must be working too, for at least one Singaporean here thinks that the people actually have any real power and that the government actually represents the interests of the citizens. There is no such as thing as collective decisions in Singapore, everything the government does is for their own sake. Media censorship is good for the government, it means Singaporeans most likely will have views in agreement with the government (because the majority read the rubbish Straits Times and watch rubbish Mediacorp news) so the government is free to do what they want. The lawless Internet jungle is the only place where the government has no control over, hence the new licensing framework to try to lock Singaporeans’ minds again. I’d bet the government would want to do a China-style Great Firewall if they had the chance, but the economic repercussions of this are too great.

  • Anonymous

    Elven. You are absolutely right. It’s their country. Not yours. Live in fear of your slaves. You have no say.

  • Dram

    Obviously a lot of commenters here don’t understand the power and scope of Anonymous.

  • magnesia

    If the ideas and intentions are genuine and honest,
    I just hope the same can apply to terrorists and terrorism.
    The world will be a better, safer & peaceful place.

  • bencrap

    MSM is in the hands of state-owned Singapore Press Holdings. Every day, they are publishing a lot of tweaked reports and surveys to hoodwink Singaporeans. Last year, we are the least happy and this year we are the most happy! They suppress the truth of things and only allow what they want us to hear or know through their controlled media. When Singaporeans speak up, they use the law to sue ie Chen Hui Hui vs CPE.

    There are 40% who voted for oppositions, only a handful of 7 representatives in parliament, you call this democracy? Singapore is the “only democractic country” in the world that tells you one party absolute is good for democracy.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Spectrum‎ where hundreds of innocent people were detained without trial and till today no public apology was given to those who were still living in this shadow.

    ng guy is another lap dog, running lackey from the elite class in SG, he will never welcome this warning! but a lot of people are happy that this hacker has brought up awareness and courage to tell the stupid and high handed SG government that they need to listen and change!!!

  • Unknown

    anonymous Singaporeans hate you ^^

  • TrustSG

    Obviously this ‘anonymous’ hackers are trying to shake both the social and economic stability of SG and those who play right into their hands are downright stupid .SGreans we need to learn how to support our own country as it has given us so much more than we deserve . If we keep harping on what we don’t have and take what we do have for granted , we are no more than small children that have yet to mature . Please understand any form of instability to SG is not only very detrimental to SG , the govt but most importantly US .Have u heard from the video , that our meaningless demonstrations will only ultimately cost the government more money , which is our money ,our taxpayers money . So why be so immature to fight for so called freedom when the SG govt is only trying to regulate the internet for the stability of our nation , censorship will bring us security as a nation . If we are unhappy with the govt , we can demonstrate it in 2016 general elections there is no need to harm our own country .So SGreans , i plead of you to be mature, think before you act because any rash and irrational behavior would only cause our country it’s reputation , stability and money .

  • greenbuck

    bencrap, its not as if Alternative news like TRS are speaking the truth either.

  • LostFaithInSG

    Government and oldies singaporean must understand that time have changed.
    Singapore is unlike what we are in the past. Government should stop clinging onto their old communist mindset and instead, focus more on citizen voices.
    New generation hunger for exposure which enlighten them to see that there is a need to break free from the shackles imposed by the government.
    However, the government keeps adding new shackles time over time to the new generation for fear of losing their current status.
    Being a mid-tier earning Singaporean, I have personally lose faith in what the government is doing for their citizen.
    However, I won’t be sure of the thinking from high-tier earning group. For they may have the same fear as the government of losing their current luxury.

  • hope

    just witnessed a PRC noodle-cooker in her 30s scolding a SGrean plate-collector/washer uncle in his 60s.

    The uncle maybe old and clumsy but he was one of the few million that helped to build what our country is today, shouldn’t they be allowed to enjoy their retirement? What is the country doing for them? Wondering how many other aged aunties and uncles that had been scold by the ForeignTalents today

  • yes

    So all of you people think Singapore is not good enough? If you are such a genius find a way to get yourself out of Singapore. Negative people ignoring the fact how peaceful we are and are taking everything for granted.