HKEx hacker jailed for nine months

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 November, 2012, 11:16am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 November, 2012, 6:15pm

A businessman, who was found guilty of unleashing "highly reckless" cyberattacks on a stock exchange website last year, was sentenced to nine months in jail on Friday.

Tse Man- lai, who had pleaded not guilty to two counts of obtaining access to a computer with criminal or dishonest intent, was convicted of both counts in the District Court on October 24.

Tse, the 28-year-old owner of an information technology company, launched denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on HKExnews, a website providing information from listed companies, on August 12 and 13 last year.

Handing down his verdict in October, Judge Kim Longley said Tse’s attacks had been "highly reckless" and targeted a website important to Hong Kong.

Tse’s actions last August turned the spotlight on the suspension policies and internet security measures of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx).

Trading in the shares of seven companies was suspended. The seven companies, which included HSBC, Cathay Pacific Airways and HKEx itself, had a combined market value of HK$1.5 trillion. Trading was also halted on a debt security and 419 warrants and derivatives linked to the suspended stocks.

Trading in the stocks were suspended, as the companies had tried to make price-sensitive announcements during the lunchtime trading break, which investors might not have seen because of the website's crash.