Suspect surrenders, denies hacking PM's Office website
The suspected hacker of the Prime Minister's Office website turned himself in to police investigators on Friday, proclaiming his innocence, amid mixed reactions from the opposition party.
- Published: 10/05/2013 at 03:51 PM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Narongrit Suksarn, centre, suspected hacker of the PM's Office website, met with police of the Technology Crime Suppression Division on Friday, declaring he is innocent and offering to help government websites keep out the real hackers. (Photo by Surapol Promsaka na Nakolnakorn)
The 29-year-old Nakhon Sri Thammarat man met police at the Technology Crime Suppression Division and denied posting the offensive message that humiliated Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The PM's Office website was hacked around noon on Wednesday with a message posted alongside a doctored image of Ms Yingluck laughing. The message was derogatory, insulting the premier's intelligence and sexual morality.
Narongrit Suksarn, aka Lek Window 98se, whose personal background matched the description given earlier by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, insisted that he did not post the inappropriate message on the PM's Office website.
He met Pol Maj Gen Pisit Pao-in, commander of the division. Mr Narongrit said he suspected he was set up by the "Unlimited Hack Team", admitting he was once a member but insisting he had left the group.
Mr Narongrit said he decided to meet with police to declare his innocence and was ready to provide information on how websites can guard against being hacked.
Pol Maj Gen Pisit said the police would question Mr Narongrit and examine the computer he uses at his apartment and try track its internet traffic. If he is innocent, he may be able to help the police track down the real hackers.
However, he admitted it would be difficult to find the digital evidence needed to prove who committed the offence.
The hackers were skillful and may be able to cover their tracks and mislead the investigation. Police have around 20 suspects in total, he said.
The "Unlimited Hack Team'' on Friday denied Mr Narongrit was a member. The group said on Wednesday that its members did not attack the PM's Office website or post the offensive message.
Mr Narongrit's birthplace, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, stirred speculation that he is politically linked. The southern province is a major stronghold of the Democrat Party.
However, Democrat leader Abhisit Vejajiva warned the party would take legal action if anyone attempted to link the suspect with the party or party members.
His warning came after Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit claimed that "cyber warriors'' had been hired and paid millions of baht to attack Ms Yingluck, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the government. He did not say who hired them, nor did he name the opposition party.
Mr Abhisit also urged quick action by the government against other offenders who had committed crimes on social media networks. Mr Abhisit did not elaborate on his statement.
But party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut on Thursday accused the government of having double standards.
The government was serious about hunting down critics of the prime minister, and acted quickly, but complacent when it came to finding people posting lese majeste messages on websites, he said.
These people also clearly violated the Criminal Code, but no action had been taken against them, he added.
Mr Chavanond on Friday rejected Mr Prompong's remark on the hiring of cyber warriors as groundless. He said Mr Prompong should cease his political grandstanding.
If found guilty of hacking the website, Mr Narongrit would be liable to a maximum fine of 100,000 baht and/or a jail term of five years under Computer Crimes Act.