8 million MOPH webpages hacked by gambling websites

The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) closed approximately eight million official government-related webpages after they were hacked by illegal gambling websites.

MOPH Information and Communication Technology Centre Director Anan Kanoksin told Thai media that illicit online gambling websites have been illegally squatting on government platforms after they sat idle for months.

The illegal gambling websites were able to squat on government webpages after they were neglected. A number of government website developers and officials, who took care of those online platforms, either retired or were relocated to other departments.

Anan said…

“We have to admit that those hackers were skilled. They were able to gain access to the government’s official websites. We promise that we will improve to see through their tricks.”

Anan stated that the ministry realised there was a hacking problem in November last year and the situation got worse in December. The ministry discovered that over eight million webpages featured gambling advertisements.

Website administrators and IT officers tried deleting gambling codes from the sites, which cut the number of hacked webpages in half, but it is difficult to keep monitoring and deleting the codes so, the government will rebuild the system with advanced technology when it gets a budget to do so.

Meanwhile, the MOPH has set up a cyber situation centre to crackdown on cyber attacks.

A major hacking problem in November last year led to the arrest of 14 hackers who illegally accessed 115 government websites and spammed them all with online gambling advertisements.

The ads directed visitors to more than 50 gambling sites where they were invited to play online slots, baccarat, bet on football, and play illegal lottery.

The hacker group was charged with violating the Gambling Act by promoting gambling services or inviting people to gamble. This resulted in a punishment of imprisonment for up to two years, a fine of up to 20,000 baht, or both.

Anan said the government has opened new online channels to communicate with residents after the recent crackdown on their hacked webpages.

Crime NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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