Putrajaya directs govt agencies to take precautionary measures following Anonymous Malaysia’s cyber-attack threat

The hacker group Anonymous Malaysia has resurfaced after a long absence. — Facebook screenshot
The hacker group Anonymous Malaysia has resurfaced after a long absence. — Facebook screenshot

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — Putrajaya today issued a warning to all government agencies to increase their precautionary measures in securing government data following the return hacktivist movement Anonymous Malaysia, who last night warned of a cyber-attack.

The National Security Council (NSC) said the Prime Minister’s Office and National Cyber Security Agency (Nacsa) view the threat by the group seriously and have urged all government units to minimise the threat impact should such a cyber-attack takes place.

“NSC and Nacsa have issued warning letters to all government agencies to take early preventive measures. We are also working with Royal Malaysia Police to coordinate and take necessary actions.

“The government views such a threat seriously and priority will be given towards safeguarding government data and technology infrastructures.

“We’ve even further strengthened all our security by hiring more knowledgeable officers in line with Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy (MCSS) launched in October 2020 to strengthen the Information and Communications Technology sector and other critical systems,” a statement from NSC read.

Anonymous Malaysia, a local loose collective of hacker activists or hacktivists, has resurfaced after more than five years yesterday to pledge a concerted cyber-attack against government websites and online assets called #OpsWakeUp21.

In a Facebook post, it claimed that the attack will be a “wake-up call”, demanding the government to do more in preventing data leaks.

They accused the government of keeping silent over many data breaches and sales of personal information of citizens in the past few years.

In its speech, Anonymous Malaysia pointed to the 2017 telecommunications company data hack that affected 46 million mobile users, spam and cyber-scam text messages, and the cyber-attack against the Malaysian Armed Forces’ network last month.

In 2015, the same group had demanded then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to resign over issues plaguing his administration with a deadline set for August 29 to coincide with the start of the then Bersih 4 rally.

It first came under media spotlight in 2011, when it took down 91 governmental sites including the government’s official portal, after Putrajaya blocked and censored access to websites such as torrent search engine The Pirate Bay.

Anonymous is a decentralised international movement that started around 2003 and 2004, targeting governments, their agencies, and major corporations, usually holding anti-cyber-surveillance and anti-cyber-censorship views.

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