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Hacked Mall Websites Leave Little Impact on Business

While shoppers crowded CapitaLand's malls over the New Year and Hari Raya Haji weekend, the online mall found itself in a fix on January 2, 2007. Hackers defaced six of its websites leaving behind impressions of destruction.

The group of words "hacked by cyber-ghost and hackinger" replaced the usual content of the events and promotions section on the sites of Bugis Junction, Funan Digitalife Mall, IMM Building, Junction 8, Palza Singapura, and Tampines Mall.

The attack took place around 4 pm. A spokesperson of CapitaLand reported that it was the first time that somebody hacked and defaced their websites.

Following a hacking notification to the shopping mall, they restored the spoiled sites by about 6 pm the same day.

One visitor, Mr. Lin Cong Kai who was seeking to lease a shop at a shopping mall in CapitaLand felt frustrated to find that all the links to different sections were broken, thus hindering thorough navigation of the website.

Mr. Lin told on January 3, 2007 that he found the website completely inoperable. He could not get the information he wanted however much he tried. He noticed the same problem with all the CapitaLand's websites, so he gave up.

The spokesperson from CapitaLand said the site primarily provided information to customers and did not offer online shopping services. So, the intrusion did not impact their business. She pointed out that it was the transforming period from Christmas to Lunar New Year promotions, which would start a week and a half later. Therefore, the hacking and erosion of the CapitaLand site has hardly affected its retail operations so far.

Investigations on the incidents have begun internally between the property giant and web service provider, Apicale. Other malls within the group like Vivocity were also unaffected. This is because their websites were taken care of by other IT agencies. CapitaLand said it would finish its examinations before deciding its next step.

As per the Computer Misuse Act, those who hack or try to deface any website are liable for jail sentence of up to 3-years and/or penalty of up to $10,000.

Related article: Hacked Site of Texas National Guard Pushes Malicious Content

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