Hacker Jailed for Attack on Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Tse Man-lai was recently jailed for nine months for launching cyber attacks on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s HKExnews Web site.

Tse launched denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on HKExnews, a website providing price-sensitive information of listed companies, on August 12 and 13 last year,” writes The South China Morning Post’s Jennifer Cheng. “DoS attacks aim to prevent access to a website by overwhelming its capacity to handle website traffic. Judge Kim Longley said Tse’s move ’caused such concern’ to seven companies, including HSBC and Cathay Pacific Airways, that they suspended trading in their shares that had a combined value of HK$1.5 trillion.”

“In his defence, Tse said he was only on long enough to take photos and video footage documenting his attacks — a premise that the judge accepted,” writes Sophos’ Lisa Vaas. “Tse had sought to demonstrate that the exchange’s news site was still vulnerable after having endured two other DDoS attacks from hundreds of computers outside of Hong Kong. He claims to have invented a technique to prevent such attacks and planned to use the screen images and video of his attacks to market his defence method.”

“Former Hong Kong legislative council member for the IT Functional Constituency, Samson Tam, even wrote to defend the Pacswitch owner, apparently arguing that his actions had ‘advanced’ IT in Hong Kong,” writes The Register’s Phil Muncaster. “Judge Kim Longley apparently didn’t agree, however, as the misguided marketing stunt earned the Tin Shui Wai resident the best part of a year in the slammer.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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