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Disaster website hacked

A screenshot shows the National Committee for Disaster Management website after it was hacked yesterday.
A screenshot shows the National Committee for Disaster Management website after it was hacked yesterday.

Disaster website hacked

A hacker that goes by the name of Sul6aN has claimed responsibility for disrupting the National Committee for Disaster Management’s website, which was down yesterday.

NCDM officials adamantly denied that they had been hacked, however, despite the fact that the government agency’s site had been reduced to a single black page with white text that reads, “hacked by Sul6aN”.

“Our department needed to reset all the programming of our website because it’s not running well,” said Nhim Vanda, vice president of NCDM. “About one or two weeks from now we will have completely rebuilt the website.”

Vanda could not explain why the committee’s homepage had Arabic verse across it, or why the site states it has been “hunted and hacked”.

The attack follows a spate of recent cyber-crimes targeting government websites.

In September, the international “hacktivist" group Anonymous launched a campaign against Cambodia’s government websites, claiming responsibility for taking down the websites of the Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit, the Council of Legal and Judicial Reform, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

“The number of cyber-attacks to Cambodia is currently on the raise,” said Ou Phannarith, head of the Cambodia Computer Emergency Response Team, adding that he did not know anything about the NCDM’s website.

Phannarith is also a member of the working group responsible for drafting Cambodia’s first cyber-crimes law.

“At the present time we do not have any cyberspace laws,” government spokesman Phay Siphan said yesterday.

“But cyber-crimes are still considered illegal in Cambodia and can be prosecuted under existing laws on blackmail or stolen electronic property.”

According to an independent digital security consultant, protecting a website, particularly one frequently targeted by malicious attempts to steal confidential information or plant malware, is complicated.

“There’s a lot that goes in to protecting a system,” said Muth Vioeha, manager of IT consulting firm CambodiaSoft.

“In general, we can say these [government] websites are not very secure.”

Officials at the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Information did not respond to repeated requests for comment yesterday.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHANNYDA CHHAY

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