Jimmy Lai

Jimmy Lai

Probe into 'hacking attack' on Next Media

Case reported to police after leaks involving senior executives and owner Jimmy Lai

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 August, 2014, 4:25am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 October, 2016, 2:38pm

Police are investigating a suspected computer hacking case in connection with the recent leaks of files and emails involving senior executives at Next Media.

The media group last night told police that the company's computer system had been invaded by hackers, which led to the emails being leaked.

Kwun Tong detectives are treating it as "access to a computer with criminal or dishonest intent", a police spokesman said.

No arrests have been made.

Mark Simon, a top aide of Next Media chairman Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, on Tuesday revealed his accounts had been hacked, after emails were leaked the previous day revealing details of Lai's support for pan-democrats. Simon said he had changed his passwords but hackers still managed to break in, according to a report in Apple Daily, part of Lai's Next Media group.

The resulting disclosure of emails between Simon and other executives made headlines.

It was the second round of leaks on Lai in two weeks. On July 21, some 900 files were made public, suggesting Lai had given millions of dollars to pan-democratic parties and individuals - including Cardinal Joseph Zen Ke-kiun and former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang.

Police on Tuesday said no investigation would be launched until a report was received. Apple Daily reported that management was to discuss the next step.

A spokesman for Next Media could not be reached for comment last night. Simon said: "We are following our company procedure and I will leave it to the company to announce what actions we are taking."

As a result of the leaks, the Legislative Council committee on members' interests has shortlisted four lawmakers for a possible probe into alleged undeclared donations. They are Claudia Mo Man-ching of the Civic Party, Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats, Lee Cheuk-yan of the Labour Party, and James To Kun-sun of the Democratic Party. Alan Leong Kah-kit gave the committee information before it met last week.