Two alleged members of the hacking group Anonymous Cambodia who were charged Monday with infiltrating the website of the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) confessed to their crimes Tuesday, the ACU’s chairman said.
Keo Sipheng, 26, and Sohang Ratana, 26, told authorities they hacked the ACU’s website on April 29 “for fun” but were unable to gain access to the site’s database, ACU chairman Om Yentieng said at a news conference.
“They confessed that they hacked the website of the ACU for fun, and they wanted to test their [information technology] skills,” said Mr. Yentieng.
He added that he did not understand why the men opted to hack the ACU site.
“The ACU’s website is used only to post documents and reports for the media to download them,” he said.
Mr. Sipheng and Mr. Ratana were arrested in Siem Reap province on Thursday.
At the press conference, Mr. Yentieng showed reporters the evidence against the two men and said they were charged under article 427 of the Cambodian Criminal Code with unauthorized access to an automated data processing system.
Mr. Yentieng also said Mr. Si-pheng and Mr. Ratana, who are students at the IIC University of Technology in Phnom Penh, are smarter than the other two alleged hackers arrested last month.
“Both of them are smarter than the previous two men arrested. They study hard…. Why don’t they use their talent to help develop the country or work with good companies? We hope both of them become good men. We want them to find the best way to do good for our society,” he said.
In early April, two other alleged Anonymous Cambodia members, Bun Khing Mongkul Panha, 21, and Chou Songheng, 21, were arrested and charged for attacking 30 government websites and stealing data.
Also Tuesday, members of the group hacked the website of the Gendarmerie Royale Khmer and replaced its homepage with a message in neon green font against a black scrolling data background: “The corrupt fear us, the honest support us, the heroic join us.”
The site also included an older video created by the group that threatens the Cambodian government with more cyberattacks.
During Tuesday’s news conference, Mr. Yentieng also said the ACU last year received 700 complaints, with 117 cases accusing high-ranking officials of corruption and 350 involving low-ranking officials. The rest of the complaints did not name specific officials. Of the cases involving high-ranking officials, he said 25 cases led to an arrest, while only two cases involving low-ranking officials led to an arrest.
(Additional reporting by Joshua Wilwohl)