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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

‘Ransomware’ hacking on the rise

THERE have been over 40 cases of sensitive government computer databases being hacked over the past two years.

Deputy Science, Technology and Innova­tion Minister Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah highlighted the alarming figure when he said there was a sharp spike in computer hacking cases detected by CyberSecurity Malaysia (MyCert).

“There were only three cases detected by MyCert in 2014. One involving Critical National Information Infrastructure (CNII) and two involving corporate companies in the country.

"However, the number skyrocketed to shocking 20 cases involving CNII, 43 cases involving corporate companies, three higher learning institutions and 21 home users in 2015,” he said when answering a question raised by Datuk Nawawi Ahmad (BN-Langkawi) at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

He added that in 2016, there were 23 cases involving CNII recorded, 18 cases involving corporate companies, three universities and six home users.

He explained that “ransomware” has been on the rise since 2015.

He said victims’ computers were infected by the malicious software designed to block access to the computer system until a sum of money was paid.

“Hackers take over the system before blackmailing the victim,” he said, adding that MyCert and the authorities, namely Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police cyber crime unit, were going after the offenders.

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