Anonymous-linked hackers leak 100 Thai prison databases
published : 3 Feb 2016 at 18:12
writer: Bob James
Hackers who last week claimed responsibility for knocking 20 Corrections Department websites offline have leaked 100 prison-system databases, including ones allegedly listing escaped prisoners still on the run.
"Hacktivists" calling themselves the Blink Hacker Group, an affiliate of the Anonymous collective, continued their cyber crusade against the death sentences given to two Myanmar men for the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao by publicly releasing the data files they claimed to have stolen on Jan 28, disabling all but one of the Corrections Department websites.
Anonymous claimed in a Facebook post that those sites remained offline because the Corrections Department did not make backups of the databases the hackers stole. On Wednesday, a week after the attack, 19 of 20 prison sites were offline.
"We are just giving back in order to restore your justice prison sites," the group wrote in a message that accompanied links to the databases, calling the department's IT skills "embarrassing".
But "giving back of databases doesn't mean we like you", the hackers added. "We're watching you."
The Blink Hackers Group, believed to be based in Myanmar, also claimed responsibility for the Jan 5 cyber attack on 297 Royal Thai Police websites and the Jan 15 hack of the Courts of Justice sites. In the latter case, databases were stolen with promises to release scandalous information.
The hackers followed up by leaking personal data of every user of the Courts computer network, including names, phone numbers and passwords, but did not divulge any information on judges or court cases.
The prison website data files released today, the group said, contain information on dredging projects that could be used as escape routes, along with data on how many inmates have escaped and not yet been tracked down.
The Bangkok Post has not yet independently verified the data uploaded.
The group said it decided to "return" the vital files after the Corrections Department dropped its requirement that Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin -- imprisoned at Bang Kwang Central Prison for the September 2014 rape and murder of UK backpacker Hannah Witheridge and the killing of compatriot David Miller -- have their hands and feet shackled and be confined to their cells 24 hours a day.
According to a Monday tweet from Migrant Workers Rights Network activist Andy Hall, both are now unshackled and permitted to move around Bang Kwang the same as any other prisoner.
The hackers have promised to continue their cyber assault on the Thai justice system to protest the Christmas Eve ruling against the two men. They contend the two 22-year-olds 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.