'Anonymous' member arrested for hack threats

Adrian Wan

Police arrested a 21-year-old man for posting comments on the internet saying he would hack several government websites.

The man used Facebook on several occasions to say he would attack the websites of seven government departments, a police spokesman said. He was arrested on suspicion of 'access to a computer with criminal or dishonest intent' in the early hours of Friday morning and released on bail of HK$2,500 at midnight the same day. He is to report to the police in October.

The commercial crime bureau, which is investigating the case, seized his computers and mobile phone.

The Aberdeen resident, who says he is a member of the US-based hacker group Anonymous, said he denied any criminal wrongdoing.

'Many protesters are resorting to hacking because normal demonstrations are hampered by public order laws and the police,' he said.

The method he said he would use was DDoS - distributed denial of service - which attacks systems by swamping websites with vast amounts of data.

The man, who calls himself 'T', was arrested in May after an unsuccessful Facebook effort to mobilise attacks on the website of the Intellectual Property Department to protest against a proposed legal amendment that criminalises parodies of copyrighted works. His threads were subsequently closed down.

Notorious for attacking the FBI, the Visa card network and electronics giant Sony, Anonymous has about 20 members in Hong Kong.