A Singaporean man has been fined $6,400 for launching a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack on the official website of Istana, the residence and office of the President of Singapore, back in November 2013.
Delson Moo Hiang Kng, 43, also admitted being responsible for a similar XSS attack on the website of the Singapore Prime Minister’s Office, The Straits Times informed. The man and a 17-year-old student, whom he knew only from Facebook, were arrested for the attacks in late November 2013.
Hiang Kng faced a maximum sentence of three years in prison and an $8,000 fine. However, the judge decided to only fine the man because the cyberattack didn’t cause any damage to the Istana server, Xinhua reported.
XSS vulnerabilities such as the ones exploited by the Singaporean businessman can be leveraged to deface websites, but the defacement can be seen only by users visiting the website through a URL containing the XSS code, and no permanent damage is caused. Hiang Kng exploited an XSS flaw in the websites’ search function to display arbitrary content, but he claimed he was only trying to test them for vulnerabilities.
In an unrelated case, James Raj, believed to be the hacker “Messiah,” has been charged for breaching the website of the Ang Mo Kio Town Council. He’s also said to have launched cyberattacks against the website of several other organizations, including The Straits Times and the People’s Action Party Community Foundation. The 35-year-old was arrested in Malaysia in October 2013 and extradited to Singapore shortly after.