Website hacked to make a point
By M. Madhavan
22nd January 2001 (ZDNetAsia)

A group of hackers attacked the website of a company providing web-based e-mail services in apparent response to a newspaper article on hacking.

PETALING JAYA (iStar) - The homepage was replaced with the picture of a figure resembling the Grim Reaper, and a long message attacking the Sunday edition of a local news daily for a Jan 14 story on hackers.

"We are here to expose some glaring and obscene misjudgements made by our 'so-called' free media,'' the group calling itself the Underground Daemon Crew said, referring to a statement that these days, people who knew "next to nothing'' about computers can hack into websites.

The company running the website, Sdn Bhd, claimed it was aware of the attempts at intrusion at 10pm on Thursday.

"We allowed the hacker to proceed with the break-in so that we could track him,'' said chief executive officer Rama Krishnan.

"We managed to get his unique network card number as well as his Internet Protocol (IP) address.

"We also know that the hacking originated from Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, and we have submitted the IP address to (our Internet service provider) Jaring to help identify the hacker,'' he said.

According to Rama Krishnan, the hacker had exploited a security loophole that is present in RedHat Linux 6.2 and 7.0, and which had been reported at (

However, he said he hasn't yet decided whether to file a police report.

Rama Krishnan claimed the hacker only managed to break into's temporary server and did not cause any damage, since the company was already in the process of transferring its files to new servers. has a user base of 600,000, he added.

In December, the Parliament website ( and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia website ( were also hacked.

According to the Malaysian Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT), there were 243 hacking attempts last year, 48 of which were successful.

Under Section Five of the Computer Crimes Act 1997, hacking is a criminal offence which can bring a maximum of seven years jail or a RM100,000 fine, or both.