Sri Lankan Teenager Arrested for Hacking President’s Website

A 17-year-old schoolboy has been arrested in Sri Lanka for allegedly hacking the President’s website with a message to demand that his college entrance exams be postponed.

A Sri Lankan teenager is now in police custody following an arrest after allegedly hacking the website of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, reports have revealed.

The president’s official website was hacked multiple times, late last week. A message, posted in the local language Sinhalese underlined the schoolboy’s displeasure toward examinations scheduled in April, a month wherein the traditional Sinhala and the Tamil New Year celebrations occur.

While the message was removed on Friday, visitors to the website were greeted with a message stating that the website was undergoing ‘scheduled maintenance’. The website was back online, a few hours later on Friday.

However, the website was, once again, hacked on Saturday, with another message. This time, the message carried a threat about the cybersecurity infrastructure used by Sri Lankan governmental websites. The Daily News, a local Sri Lankan publication, reported the message, this time in English. It read:

Dear Mr. President,

We are extremely displeased about the decision to hold GCE A/L in April since the Sinhala/Hindu New Year falls in between the exam dates. Therefore, reconsider that decision. Furthermore, take care of the security of Sri Lankan websites. Or else, we will have to face a cyber war.

If you cannot control the situation hold a Presidential Election.

Stop the Prime Minister’s irresponsible work.

Look more into the problems of the university students.

The Sri Lankan Youth

The teenager accused of hacking the website was arrested on Monday, with the charge of committing computer crimes. If persecuted by the law, the teenager faces a fine of 300,000 rupees ($2,000) and up to three years in prison.

The incident marks the first ever occasion of a teenager arrested under the computer crimes law, established in 2007.

At the time of publishing, the Sri Lankan President’s website is online and functioning.

Image credit: Flickr.

Samburaj is the contributing editor at Hacked and keeps tabs on science, technology and cyber security.