Rahman Dahlan tells NSC to step up in combating cyberattacks

FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR


PUTRAJAYA: The National Security Council (NSC) has been urged to put in place a mechanism to combat cyberattacks, which can severely affect the economy and politics in Malaysia.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said baseless allegations and misinformation in the cyberspace can also greatly damage the image of the country.

“During 13th General Election in 2013, the cyber troopers from the opposition parties have used the social media platform to spread false information that 40,000 Bagladeshis were sent to the polling centres to vote for BN.

“The slanderous remarks had influenced the voting patterns and the election results.

“This showed how critical cyber security can be. We hope NSC will take necessary actions to ensure that such threats can be stopped during the next general election,” he told reporters after closing the National Cyber Crisis Exercise (X-Maya 6) at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, here, today.

Abdul Rahman said the rumours on social media such as that of Tabung Haji and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) being on the brink of bankruptcy could jeopardise the country’s economy stability.

“As a minister heading the Economic Planning Unit, I have to interact with many investors from foreign countries. Many have asked me if it was true that EPF and Tabung Haji were bankrupt.

“This has caused some countries to cancel their investment due to the misinformation about Malaysia on the cyberspace.

“And because of the false news, many depositors of Tabung Haji had withdrawn their funds. The cyber threats can cause Tabung Haji and EPF system to collapse,” he said.

At the event, Rahman said the digital age has provided a new domain for criminals, hackers, gangsters, terrorists and paedophiles to pursue their agenda more effectively.

He said 35 local websites were paralysed by an anonymous attack known as Anonymous Malaysia in 2015.

“In 2013, at the height of the Lahad Datu intrusion, a conflict emerged in cyberspace when hackers from Malaysia and the Philippines drew themselves into a battle.

“We recorded 32 local websites being defaced. Meanwhile, four websites were taken down by Distributed Denial of Service attack,” he said.

The X-Maya 6 was organised by NSC in collaboration with CyberSecurity Malaysia, aimed at assessing the cyber security emergency readiness and preparedness of critical national infrastructure agencies against cyberattacks.

The three-day event saw the participation of 92 agencies comprising 46 public and 46 private bodies.