Teen cuffed in policy rewrite stunt
A teenager from Sri Lanka is in hot water after he admitted to hacking the website of the nation’s president in order to get his exams cancelled.
The local Daily News reports that the 17-year-old, whose name was not released, accessed the official site of President Maithripala Sirisena – president.gov.lk – and replaced the front page with a demand that the nation’s A‑level examinations be moved.
The message, which presented itself as being the work of a hacker group called Sri Lanka Youth, complained that the scheduled April exam time coincided with Hindu New Year festivals.
“We are extremely displeased about the decision to hold GCE A/L in April, since the Sinhala/Hindu New Year falls inbetween the exam dates,” a translation of the message reads.
“Therefore, reconsider that decision.
Furthermore, take care of the security of Sri Lankan websites. Or else we will have to face a cyber war.”
According to the Daily News report, the message was first posted Friday of last week and, after being taken down, reappeared over the weekend.
The site has since been restored.
The youth, who was from Kadugannawa, was arrested earlier this week. He will reportedly face up to three years in jail and a fine of 300,000 Rupees ($2,000) if convicted.
He would not be the first student to engage in some ill-advised cybercrime in order to get out of taking a test.
In 2013, a Harvard University Student was nabbed for trying to make an anonymous bomb threat in hopes of getting his semester exams called off. ®