Singapore — Hacking attacks on websites are “nothing short of terrorism” because they can affect people’s lives, and must be taken seriously, said Singapore Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Wednesday.
The minister was speaking to students at the Singapore Institute of Management, and was responding to a student’s question on why the government was taking the recent hacking threats so seriously when there appeared to be little tangible damage.
Mr. Shanmugam said the attacks are symbolic and serious because of the intended consequences, as he painted a picture of the possible impact on a world thoroughly dependent on information technology.
Because the world relies on IT to manage power grids, air traffic control, hospitals, and road traffic signals, if the systems get hacked it could lead to accidents and lives could be lost.
He also noted that many countries are looking at the issue of cyber security very seriously. While talking about terrorism, they also worry about other countries knocking out their IT systems.
The minister’s comments come after the personal data of some 4,000 individuals were found to be extrapolated from the Singapore Art Museum website and leaked online, according to reports.
Also, the websites of 13 schools were defaced today between 3:30pm and 5:00pm, according to the Ministry of Education.