Mock-poll hackers held

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2012, 12:00am


Police arrested two men on Sunday over an attack by hackers on a computer system being used in a mock election for the chief executive.

The two Hongkongers, aged 17 and 28, were arrested on Saturday and later released on bail by detectives from the force's commercial crime bureau.

Police did not release further information about the pair or give any indication of their possible motives.

They are suspected of accessing the computer system at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) with criminal and dishonest intent. Police also seized some computer equipment that they believe was used in the attack.

HKU's public opinion programme, which was organising the citywide simulated election, reported a suspected 'distributed denial-of-service' attack to police at about 1.30pm on Saturday.

Last Wednesday and Friday, the system under attack reported up to one million hits per second. The system was capable of handling only a couple of dozen hits at a time.

As HKU staff had blocked overseas access to the system, they were sure the attacks originated locally. Despite the hacking, more than 220,000 people cast votes.