Trading continues to operate per normal, say SC and Bursa

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN

Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and Bursa Malaysia Bhd have affirmed investors that trading continues to operate “per normal” amid recent reports of cyber attacks on local brokerages.

In a joint statement issued yesterday, SC and Bursa said both authorities were working closely with the National Security Council (NSC) and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to manage any potential cyber security incidents.

NSC is the agency responsible for managing and coordinating the implementation of policies related to the security of Malaysia.

“SC and Bursa would like to emphasise that the management of cybersecurity risk remains a high priority and all brokers have been advised to remain vigilant,” the statement read.

Last Thursday, The Malaysian Reserve reported that several investment banks and securities brokers were hit by an online ransom attack, which denied users from accessing their online share trading accounts and held them for ransom.

The first attack occurred several hours last Wednesday morning before the affected brokerage firms were able to restore their systems. Multiple attacks were subsequently reported last Friday.

Internet security expert and LE Global Services Sdn Bhd founder Fong Choong Fook said the hackers — who called themselves as “Armada Collective” — had demanded a ransom of 10 bitcoin (RM110,500).

It remains unknown how many securities firms were hit by the ransom attack, but Fong confirmed that “multiple” companies were targeted.

Victims of the attacks such as trading solutions provider N2N Connect Bhd, Jupiter Securities Sdn Bhd and Excel Force MSC Bhd have since alerted their clients on the Distributed Denial of Service threats.

The latest cyber attack quagmire comes a week after the Petya malware outbreak resulted in significant losses for some of the world’s largest corporations, including Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk Group, US delivery service FedEx Corp and Nurofen producer Reckitt Benckiser Group plc.

In May, the WannaCry Ransomware attack infected over 300,000 computers globally across 150 countries.

Mondolez International Inc — the second-largest confectionery company in the world — recorded a 3% lower turnover for the second-quarter of 2017 as a result of the disruption.

Several Malaysian firms were also affected by the Ukraine-born virus with some 20 odd companies suffering from the mechanical attack. A government-linked corporation, a financial investment firm and a motor repair shop were among those who were hit.