Cambodian National Police has arrested two members of Anonymous Cambodia earlier this month, April 7, in a joint operation with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which has been running for about eight months according to a statement available on the website of National Police. Both arrested personal are members of the global ‘Anonymous’ hacking group which called for attack on Israeli cyberspace earlier this month on the same date that is 7th April.
They are identified as Bun Khing Mongkul Panha and Chou Songheng. Both are 21 years old and were third-year students at the SETEC Institute, a Phnom Penh-based university. Panha is identified online as ‘Sex Machine’ and ‘Black Cyber’ whereas Songheng is known in cyberspace as ‘Zoro’. The reason for their arrest is the hacking of 30 government websites as well as some private business websites. The hacking profile includes big names such as National Election Committee (NEC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Anti-Corruption Unit and Phnom Penh Municipality.
Mr. Panha has confessed about the hacking and Mr. Songheng said he just wanted to learn hacking and is Mr. Panha’s student.
“He just wanted to learn about it. That is why he decided to join the hacker group,” the statement said of Mr. Songheng.
They are arrested under Cambodian Criminal Code,articles 427, 428 and 429, which concerns with information technology and penalizes the culprit with 500 USD to 1000 USD fine with one to two years behind bars.
“The suspects are still under investigation by the court, so they have detained them for trial,” said Dim Chaoseng, the lawyer for Mr. Panha and Mr. Songheng.
Rasch, the former head of the U.S. Department of Justice Computer Crime Unit, said:
“These are not considered major crimes.”
“Since [Cambodia] doesn’t have a cybercrime law, they can’t charge them with more serious crimes.”
Lieutenant General Chhay Sinarith, director of the Ministry of Interior’s internal security department, said the arrest is part of an ongoing effort in cooperation of FBI. He said:
“The National Police were cooperating with the FBI to conduct an investigation on [hacking] when we found out these two suspects hacked the NEC…and other government institutions.”