Singapore's biggest newspaper hit by Anonymous hackers

A hacker claiming links to Anonymous apparently hijacked the website of Singapore's highest-selling newspaper today, The Straits Times.

The attack comes just days after a video was posted online by someone claiming to represent the group, and threatening to attack the infrastructure of the sovereign city-state.

The hacking was allegedly a protest against laws that were introduced in June, and required the registration of news sites. Government agencies were put on alert after a Youtube video was posted on Tuesday threatening to unleash a "war" on its websites unless it reconsidered the regulations.

The hacker, who called himself "The Messiah", took over the blog of one of the Straits Times' journalists, Irene Tham. He posted the message "Dear ST: You just got hacked for misleading the people!"

This is apparently in reference to Tham's report on the original video, which was entitled "YouTube video by 'Anonymous' hacker group threatens to attack Singapore".

The Straits Times has been criticised before as being the mouthpiece of the ruling party in Singapore, the People's Action Party, and it has been suggested in the past that the paper lacks the freedom to criticise the government.

The hacker apparently believes that Tham incorrectly chose to "modify the sentence 'war against the Singapore government' into 'war against Singapore'".

"That in our opinion can be very misleading," the hacker posted.

The attacker demanded that Tham publicly apologise within 48 hours "to the citizens of Singapore for trying to mislead them".

If not, "then we expect her resignation", the hacker added.

"In the event our demands are not met in the next 48 hours, we will place you in our 'to do' list," the hijacker warned, "and next time you wont be let off this easy."

At the time of writing, Tham's blog is still offline, along with the entire blog section of the site, but the hacked message is still visible in the Straits Times internal search engine.

The attackers posted a message claiming that they sought to restore "the rule of law," and "fight back against the organized criminal class." The statement went on to say that the members of the group "oppose any form of Internet censorship among other things."

The hacker went on to list other complaints, such as the putting down of a seven month old puppy by a foreign ex-pat worker, and an incident involving the scalding of a child at a government childcare centre, although it is unclear what connection either event has to Tham or the Straits Times.

Publisher Singapore Press Holdings has reported the matter to the police. Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority said in a statement that the authorities "are investigating into the matter."

The attack comes just 4 days after members of Anonymous claimed to have taken down the website of the US National Security Agency (NSA) in response to its spying programmes.