Co-operate to address hacking incidents
10th April 2001 (New Straits Times)

KUALA LUMPUR, Tues. - Malaysians should co-operate with law enforcement agencies in addressing the increasing number of hacking incidents, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today.

He said there had been occasions where hackers had been caught intruding online but victims refused to make police reports. He said 1,713 information and communications technology intrusions were reported between August 1997 and last month.

"These statistics indicate that ICT security cases are not going away and are expected to increase further as the computer literacy rate improves," he said.

He said this in his speech which was read by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Bernard Dompok at the launch of the National ICT Security and Emergency Response Centre (NISER) at Nikko Hotel.

The authorities, Abdullah said, were concerned about the invasion of privacy through the Internet and the need to enhance cyber-security at both Government and private sector sites.

Towards this end, he said, the Government was looking into the development and revision of cyber laws under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, the National ICT security standard and the soon-to-be-introduced Personal Data Protection Act.

The Personal Data Protection Act, he said, would regulate the collection, holding, processing and use of personal data by any person to provide protection to an individual's personal data and to safeguard personal privacy.

(At a Press conference later, MIMOS Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Dr Tengku Mohd Azzman Shariffadeen said the proposals for the Personal Data Protection Act were now with the Attorney-General's chambers).

Abdullah said prevention through laws alone may not be sufficient and organisations should formulate good security policies and enforce them accordingly.

Expressing concern over the invasion of privacy over the Internet, he said Malaysia was even more vulnerabe to threats of cyber-attacks by hostile nations, irresponsible newsgroups and websites located in the country and beyond.

Abdullah said it was also important that the country be self-reliant in core ICT security areas and not depend solely on foreign-based technology.

He said the Government acknowledged the need to address ICT security issues through the formation of the National Network Security and Accreditation Agency and NISER.

These measures, he said, reflected the nation's commitment towards creating a specialised team to handle the vast and complex areas in ICT security.

The establishment of NISER, which took place in Jan 1998, will provide Malaysia with an effective agency to look after ICT security issues in a more comprehensive manner.

NISER will operate through collaboration with the Government, private sector and other parties to address these issues by providing expert opinions.

It will also become the co-ordination centre for other computer emergency response teams in the country and represent Malaysia at international forums.

Tengku Mohd Azzman said NISER is currently collaborating with System Administration and Network Security, a renowned US institution on ICT security, which provides technical training and security professional certifications to enhance Malaysia's capability in ICT security.

NISER is wholly funded by the Government and currently hosted at MIMOS Berhad.