SINGAPORE, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Two suspect hackers were charged on Friday with alleged hacking of the website of the Istana, the presidential palace of Singapore.
Businessman Delson Moo, 42, and student Melvin Teo, 17, were accused of modifying the contents of the server hosting the Istana website. Both cases will be back in court on Jan. 24 next year.
The alleged offenses were committed a minute apart. Teo is accused of modifying the contents of the server at 12:33 a.m., while Moo allegedly did the same at 12:34 a.m. Each of them is said to have done so twice on Nov. 8.
Court documents showed the duo apparently used the search function on the server hosting the website to process scripts. This was said to have caused the search function to generate instructions to display texts and images stated in their scripts.
The website supposedly displayed the image of a woman making a rude gesture, another image of a man pointing his index finger and three phrases, local broadcaster Channel NewsAsia said.
Under the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act, the highest penalty is a five-year jail term and a fine of 20,000 Singapore dollars (16,000 U.S. dollars).
The two suspects were identified days after the web administrator of the Istana website lodged a police report. They were arrested on Thursday.
Local media said earlier that the suspects are believed to have got to know each other over Facebook. Moo admitted that he had committed the offense in a moment of folly.
"It was purely a stupid mistake," he was quoted as saying. "My hand was itchy and... I got myself into trouble."
Apparent members of international hackers collective Anonymous uploaded a video message in early November threatening to attack the Internet infrastructure of the Singapore government, urging it to reconsider a news portal licensing framework.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that Singapore authorities will "spare no effort" to track down culprits who launch cyberattacks even though they think they can hide behind the internet's veil of anonymity.
Following the warning, the hackers attempted to bring down the websites of Istana and the Prime Minister's Office on Nov. 8.
Separately, a 35-year-old Singaporean man was charged earlier this month with hacking the website of a local town council.
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