CM: Sarawak taking steps to enhance cyber security in the state

Masing (front row, centre) representing Abang Johari to officiate at the Third Annual Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Conference, Asia, in Kuching today (July 18, 2018).

KUCHING, July 18: Cyber security is one of Sarawak’s primary concerns, and steps are being taken in earnest to provide the necessary protection for Sarawakians and the system that will be put in place.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said critical infrastructure projections are a major issue for governments the world over, and it is the key priority in Malaysia.

“For this reason, we have invested considerable time, effort and public funds to develop the organisations, tools and policies to protect our citizens,” said Abang Johari at the launching of the Third Annual Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Conference, Asia, here today. His text-of-speech was read out by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing.

The event was organised by Cyber Security Malaysia, National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA), Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (SAINS) and Sarawak Convention Bureau.

Citing research by the Malaysia Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Abang Johari said out of the 32 million people in Malaysia, 24.5 million users (76.9 per cent) have access to the Internet.

“In 2017, Malaysia’s Internet penetration had risen to 85.7 per cent from just 70.0 per cent in 2015. It shows information technology and communication (ICT) is undergoing rapid growth in Malaysia,” he said.

He revealed that last year, CyberSecurity Malaysia recorded a total of 7,962 cyber security incidents that were reported to the Cyber999 Help Centre. From January 1 until June 2018, there were 2,713 incidents reported. The top four incidents reported are fraud (1,769 incidents), intrusion (451 incidents), cyber harassments (142 incidents) and malicious code (141 incidents).

“There is a growing concern of increasing cyber threats in Malaysia. They include an alarming trend of ransomware (a type of malware) that locks up the data on its victim’s computer by encrypting it and the attacker then demands payment before to releasing the decryption key.

“Amongst the disastrous ransomware attacks was Petya, first seen in March 2016, and continued in 2017. Ransomware variant, WannaCry, had affected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries.”

Abang Johari pointed out that CyberSecurity Malaysia received numerous reports on ransomware, which have been put under the malicious code category.

“Up until November 2017, there were 740 malicious code incidents being brought to the attention of Cyber Security Malaysia.”

The Chief Minister said the Internet of things (IoT) is another major concern as more and more of our working personal lives are dependent on internet-enabled devices. Some of the attacks related to IoTs are Stuxnet, Mirai botnet, Cloud attack, Brickerbot, the botnet barrage and vehicle hijacking.

“The traditional cyber security approach, especially through infrastructure security, still remains important but not sufficient. Cyber-attacks are now evolving similar to the trend of emerging technologies,” he cautioned. — DayakDaily