Spam calls reported on polling day

by MARK RAO & LYDIA NATHAN

A Bots attack is believed to be the cause for numerous spam calls occurring on polling day yesterday for the 14th General Election (GE14), affecting all parties irrespective of their political allegiance.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said it has been receiving numerous complaints yesterday of phones ringing and then the call subsequently dropping, which is being experienced repeatedly by all parties.

“Our initial investigation points to a technical cause of a BOTS attack which is initiated anonymously from various sources with differing targets irrespective of the political parties,” MCMC said in a statement yesterday.

“We seek that everyone stop this act immediately and refrain from further use of such technical attacks as it could jeopardise the telecommunication network, causing inconvenience to the public and a security risk.”

The commission further advised persons or parties receiving such calls from unknown numbers to not answer.

“MCMC and the service providers are continuing to investigate and in the event that the initiator/s is identified, MCMC will take stern action as provided by the law.”

Caretaker Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak also criticised the “spam call” tactics received by Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders on polling day that he said came from international numbers.

“I criticise the spam call tactics that many BN leaders received from international numbers,” he wrote on his Twitter account. “Phones affected by the spam attack cannot function as usual.

Additionally, many BN websites are inaccessible. I have ordered immediate action.” Meanwhile, Bernama reported that Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) will work with the MCMC on the “BOTS” attack.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun was quoted as saying that the attack was seen as an attempt to undermine the GE14.

“I also received a mystery call as early as 5am this morning showing a foreign number. PDRM and MCMC are conducting a detailed investigation into this matter,” Bernama reported him as saying yesterday