Monday, August 19

Get to know avenues to report on cyber security incidents

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KUALA LUMPUR: Threats are constantly lurking in the cyber realm but do netizens know where to turn to when they end up victims of cyber attacks like malware attack, cyber harassment, cyber bully or fraud?

Most Malaysians are at a loss on who to turn to as they are unaware of avenues available to them in seeking assistance and taking preventive steps from falling victims to cyber security incidents and wrongdoings.

“The public must be educated on who they should report to whenever they face cyber attacks, with cyber crime becoming more complex and the Internet being indispensable in our daily lives,” said Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT) chief Megat Muazzam Abdul Mutalib.

MyCERT’s Cyber999 Help Centre as well as Cybersecurity Malaysia’s Malware Research Centre are points of reference for Malaysian internet users in dealing with computer security incidents.

Cyber999 provides emergency response on computer security related matters such as cyber harassment, hack attempts and other information security breaches.

According to Megat Muazzam cyber threat incidents can be reported via email, SMS, phone call, fax, Cyber999 mobile app or by simply walking into the MyCyberSecurity clinic in Cyberjaya.

In 2018, a total of 10,699 incidents were reported to MyCERT, indicating a 34 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

Malware or malicious code, represented 1,700 of total cases reported in 2018, making it the third highest cyber threat after fraud and intrusion attacks.

In the first six months of 2019, 429 cases reported were classified as malware attacks.

He said ransomware attacks have been increasing with 62 incidents reported in 2018 and this must be highlighted to the public as well as companies.

According to a Cyber Security Malaysia report released in March 2019, ransomware was one of the six dominant cyber threats received and handled by MyCERT in 2018.

Other threats include cyber blackmail, web defacement, data breach, malicious APK files and cryptomining malware.

Ransomware attack is a malware attack that locks out users of their device and/or encrypts their files, then forces them to pay a ‘ransom’ to get them back with the most famous ransomware being “Wannacry” which during its peak had hit more than 100,000 organisations in at least 150 countries.

“We have received a lot of report pertaining to ransomware and unofficial reports that several companies, including government agencies being informed that they have been hacked and attacked by ransomware,” he said.

Based on CyberSecurity Malaysia 2018 analysis, ransomware incidents indicate that cyber attackers are likely to target organisations by using ransomware for financial gain, causing huge monetary expenditure for data recovery costs, operational costs, and other expenses.

Meanwhile, CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Amirudin Abdul Wahab said reports of threats through Cyber999 are crucial as it would enable the agency to analyse the threats and channel the reports and investigation results to the relevant enforcement agency for further action.

“CyberSecurity Malaysia does not have the authority to take action against the perpetrators as we are a technical agency and this is beyond our job scope,” he said adding that CyberSecurity is working hand in hand with law enforcement agencies in the country to keep cyber threats in check. — Bernama