Wednesday, January 13, 2016

‘Anonymous’ hacks Thai court websites over Koh Tao verdict

HACKERS associated with the group Anonymous yesterday claimed they had shut down all Thai Courts of Justice websites in protest over the Koh Tao double-murder verdict.

"Anonymous is supporting the campaign to ask tourists to boycott Thailand until such time that changes are made with the way Thai police handle investigations involving foreign tourists," its Facebook page "We Are Anonymous" read yesterday. The page also provided details of the latest hacking of about 300 websites of the court. The Nation checked some of the websites and found they were down and could not be accessed.

Spokesman for the Courts of Justice, Suebpong Sripongkul, said yesterday the agency would take legal action against the hackers, saying the hacking of public websites was considered illegal under the Computer Crimes Act and that the offence carried a maximum jail term of 15 years and a fine not more than Bt300,000. The spokesman added that the hackers’ messages indicated that they were dissatisfied with the court verdict in the Koh Tao double-murder case. "The hackers' attacks cannot change the lower court’s verdict, but both sides can appeal to higher courts," he pointed out.

Late last year, Myanmar migrants Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun were sentenced to death for allegedly killing British backpackers Hannah Witheridge and David Miller. The verdict brought criticism from people around the world, with claims the convicted men were tortured by police and forced to confess.

Last week, the cyber-activist group declared war on Thai police by taking down some 15 police websites to protest against what it said was the scapegoating of the two migrants. The group posted links to 15 Thai police websites, including that of the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau, asking its members to hack them.

Spokesman for the Information and Communications Technology Ministry, Chatchai Khunpitiluck, said the ICT Ministry does have a proactive approach carried out by ThaiCERT to help identify and mitigate technical issues concerning online security.

Most of the affected sites were recommended to re-route their traffic request through ThaiCERT. He said the ICT would also be more proactive and encourage site administrators to contact, consult and collaborate with ThaiCERT.

He added that government websites provided a wide range of services. The incidents that occurred mostly affected information sites that may somehow prioritise convenience, he said.Meanwhile, police chief Chakthip Chaijinda yesterday ordered his legal team to investigate Hannah’s sister Laura’s Facebook post, in which she slammed the police investigation as being "bungled". Her post was removed yesterday. He said he would decide later whether to file a lawsuit against her. The Nation, Bangkok


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