Sri Lanka arrests teen for hacking President Maithripala Sirisena's website

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (centre) walks through crowds after making an offering to mark the start of an irrigation project on July 25.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (centre) walks through crowds after making an offering to mark the start of an irrigation project on July 25. PHOTO: AFP

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's police Monday arrested a 17-year-old teenager for hacking into President Maithripala Sirisena's official website and posting a message calling for the postponement of A-level examinations.

The unnamed boy was taken into custody under the Computer Crimes Act and on conviction faces a fine of 300,000 rupees ($2,721) and up to three years in jail.

"We traced the hack to his home in Kadugannawa," a police official said referring to a town about 100 kilometres east of the capital Colombo. "The website was crippled over the weekend after the attack."

On Monday, the president's official site was up and running again.

The attacker had removed the home page of the website and replaced it with a demand that the President postpone the ongoing GCE Advanced Level examinations or step down.

Sri Lankan websites had been hacked in the past, but this was the first time that a teenager had been arrested under the Computer Crimes Act of 2007.