by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by BLOOMBERG
MALAYSIAN authorities are preparing for possible cyber attacks against local sites intended to cripple services, disrupt businesses, deface web pages and jeopardise data integrity.
In a circular to related stakeholders sighted by The Malaysian Reserve (TMR), it warned about the cyber attack campaign using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), DoS and web defacement.
The attacks were supposed to start from yesterday until April 23, 2019, based on the information gathered by the country’s cyber intelligence units.
Although the originator of the campaign is difficult to verify as hackers can operate using various network nodes to mask their locations, it is believed the latest campaign uses the operation code name of “#OP_ GAYANGMALAYSIA”.
But the code name, which tracks back to a frosty period between Malaysia and Indonesia, could just be a way to disrupt the good relations between the two neighbouring countries.
It is believed the country’s National Cyber Coordination and Command Centre of the Malaysian National Security Council is monitoring the security of Malaysia’s cyberspace.
TMR has learned that government offices have been told of the possible cyber attacks and will take the necessary preemptive measures.
“MyCERT (Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team) is monitoring the situation. I cannot share more than what has been mentioned,” said a source who spoke under the condition of anonymity.
The expected cyber campaign is intended to ensure service disruptions and data loss leakages. All operating systems and web servers are exposed to the threat.
Officials and cyber security experts from the relevant authorities did not immediately reply to an inquiry on whether any sites have been victims of the cyber attacks.
It is not known the motivations behind the intended cyber attacks. It is believed private organisations have also been advised to strengthen their security protocols to avoid being victims of the potential attacks.
Cyber crimes have evolved into its own industry these days. Hackers and their groups
have been operating like business enterprises, stealing millions to facilitate their criminal activities.
Some cyber attacks are also believed to be state-sponsored. In 2017, Malaysia suffered a breach of over 46 million personal records — the largest in the country’s history — which included information on identification card numbers, addresses and mobile numbers.
DDOS is a common cyber attack where hackers flood a particular site with requests, subsequently crippling the host’s services to the Internet and preventing legitimate requests.