The Star Online

Sharp rise in Malaysian hacking cases

‘Hackers will take over the system before blackmailing the victim,’ warns the country's deputy tech minister

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2016, 12:14pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 November, 2016, 12:29pm

By Firdaous Fadzil

There has been a sharp spike in computer hacking cases detected by CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) over the past two years, says Malaysia’s Science, Technology and Innovation Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah.

“There were only three cases detected by MyCert in 2014. One involved Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) and two involved private companies,” he said.

“However, the number skyrocketed to a shocking 20 cases involving CNII, 43 private corporations, three higher learning institutions (IPT) and 21 home users in 2015,” he said.

Dr Abu Bakar of Malaysian political party BN-Tangga Batu was answering a question raised by Datuk Nawawi Ahmad, of BN-Langkawi, at the Dewan Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday.

He added that in 2016 so far, there had been 23 cases involving CNII, 18 private companies, three IPT’s and six home users.

Dr Abu Bakar explained that the use of “ransomware” has been on the rise since 2015.

He said these were cases where victims’ computers were infected by malicious software, preventing users from accessing the system until a sum of money was paid.

“Hackers will take over the system before blackmailing the victim,” he said, adding that CSM and the authorities, namely MACC and the police cyber crime unit, are going full force to hunt down offenders.

“Hackers can be charged under the Communications and Multimedia Act and the Cyber Crime Act,” he said, adding that CSM also provides training and certification programmes to spread awareness in combating ransomware attacks.

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