Malaysia: Govt must be transparent, outcome of alleged data breach probe must be made public

Zarrah Morden reports:

Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) today expressed concern over the alleged data leaks and sale of personal data belonging to Malaysians and urged the government to publicly disclose the results of police investigation into the matter.


It also suggested that legislators study what is lacking in existing legislation, leading to solutions that strengthen the existing legal framework surrounding personal data protection.

It then recommended a more robust cybersecurity system be put in place to avoid the recurrence of such data breaches.

TI-M was referring to a report by which stated that the National Registration Department’s (NRD) dataset containing information of all Malaysians born between 1940-2004 was being sold on an online database marketplace forum.

Read more on Malay Mail.

A post on a hacker’s forum lists data with 22.5 million rows for sale. “Malaysian data massive leak from APIs. Last time we sold 4million data of Malaysian, this time we leak whole adult Malaysian population and no one left behind, from 2004 to 1940 birth year,” the ad reads.


In a related OpEd at The Malay Reserve, Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar, President of the Malaysian Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, provides more details about the breach and other big breaches involving Malaysian’s personal information. He writes, in part:

In Malaysia, there is a need to raise the knowledge, skills and capability across all members of the Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian intelligence agencies and Cybersecurity Malaysia. The Malaysian Armed Forces have set up cyber warfare regiment to strengthen cyber defence.

Law enforcement agencies, regulators and ethical hackers should form a task force with Cybersecurity Malaysia and acquire capabilities pertaining to deep web analysis. This is to enable the task force to effectively conduct investigations and continuous monitoring to effectively curb cybercrime activities to ensure a safer, secure cyberspace for the public and ensure it remains immune to cyberattacks.

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