by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN
No further accounts of cyber incidents have been reported amid anticipation of a second wave of Distributed Denial of Service attacks, after investment and stockbroking firms refused to pay ransoms demanded by a group of cyber criminals.
Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) confirmed that it has not received any reports of cyber threats when contacted yesterday.
“We have, to date, not detected nor received further reports of cyber incidents. The market continues to operate in an orderly manner and our core market infrastructure remains intact.
“SC and Bursa Malaysia continues to maintain close communication with various authorities to manage any potential incidents,” an SC spokesperson told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
Brokerages contacted on Tuesday said they anticipated a form of sequel attack between yesterday until July 14 and have taken precautionary steps to fend off the threats.
Some firms even backed up their order data on paper the same day and advised customers to call in orders instead of trading online.
Cyber security expert and LE Global Services Sdn Bhd founder Fong Choong Fook said an attack may crop up today as many affected firms have been given a July 13 deadline to make a payment of 10 bitcoins (RM110,500) to avoid a recurrence of the earlier attack.
SC, in a joint statement with Bursa Malaysia on Monday, affirmed that investor trading continued to operate “as per normal” amid last week’s report of cyber attacks on local brokerages.
Both authorities said they were working closely with the National Security Council and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to manage any potential cyber security incidents.
Last Thursday, TMR reported that several investment banks and securities brokers were hit by an attack, which denied users from accessing their online share trading accounts and held them for ransom.
The initial outbreak transpired several hours last Wednesday morning before the affected firms were able to restore their systems. Multiple attacks were subsequently reported last Friday.
It is unknown how many securities companies were hit by the ransom threat, but Fong said “multiple” companies were targeted.
Trading volume on the local exchange was slightly lower on the days of the attacks compared to the turnover of 1.9 billion shares valued at RM1.8 billion recorded last Tuesday.
Total turnover on June 5 when the attack first occurred stood at 1.5 billion shares at RM1.7 billion, while total turnover on June 7 went lower at 1.3 billion shares valued at RM1.5 billion.
Analysts, however, have attributed the lower trading volume on both days to poor sentiments and the extended holiday period, and not a result of the cyber attacks.