Anonymous-linked hackers bring down Thai prison websites
published : 28 Jan 2016 at 10:54
writer: Online Reporters
Exactly two weeks after knocking offline almost 300 Thai Courts of Justice websites, hackers associated with the Anonymous collective have taken out 20 Corrections Department prison sites, continuing their cyber crusade against the death sentences given to two Myanmar men for the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao.
In a post to the Anonymous for Justice Facebook page, a relatively small community among numerous Anonymous pages, "hacktivists" belonging to the Blink Hackers Group posted a screenshot of a web server status check page showing that the main Corrections Department website was offline.
It was quickly restored and online by 10am.
The same could not be said for the other 19 sites, which all returned "server not found" messages as of 10.45am.
In its Facebook post, the group this time did not mention the Christmas Eve sentencing of Zaw Lin and Wyn Zaw Htun for the September 2014 rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge and murder of David Miller on the Surat Thani resort island. But the group listed a number of hashtags, including #KohTao an #BoycottThailand, a common theme running through all the hackers' previous cyber attacks.
The post also included a new hashtag: #LukeMiller. It refers to the a young UK tourist who, while reportedly high on drugs, drowned after diving into a swimming pool on Koh Tao on Jan 10. His family, which was in the UK at the time, contends he was murdered.
A supposed screenshot posted on Facebook by hackers claiming responsibility for knocking offline 20 Thai court websites shows the main Corrections Department server down. It has since been restored.
The same group of hacktivists shut down 297 Thai Courts of Justice websites in protest over the Koh Tao murder ruling on Jan 13 and claimed to have defaced Royal Thai Police websites on Jan 5. The group also claimed to have stolen large quantities of court records and vowed to expose corrupt legal authorities but, as of yet, have not released any more court data.
Critics of the court sentence claim the 22-year-old Myanmar men were tortured by police and forced to confess to a crime they did not commit, then were railroaded in a botched investigation using questionable DNA evidence.
Anonymous is a loosely organised band of computer users that has launched cyber attacks against businesses, terrorist groups and governments it feels has affronted society's norms. Fringe groups often claim Anonymous support to launch their own attacks.
Anonymous, however, has been vocal in its criticism of the handling of the Koh Tao case. It prepared a 40-minute video detailing what it claims were the shortcomings in the investigation and has tacitly or explicitly endorsed several cyber attacks against the Thai government and police.
At least five websites were penetrated on Jan 5 -- the Police Clearance Certificate Centre, Metropolitan Police Bureau, Marine Police Division and the Phichit provincial police office - and the hacker group claimed eight others were taken down.