90 breaches in two years
6th April 2001 (The Sun)

PUTRAJAYA, Thurs: Hackers struck 89 times at the country's information, communication and technology (ICT) system, including websites, since Feb 1, 1999. Sixty incidents involved public institutions. Among them were the Foreign Ministry, Treasury, Immigration Department, Survey and Mapping Department, Maritime Department, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Public Services Commission and Malaysia Airlines.

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said some of the systems were hacked into repeatedly, reports Bernama. "This raises the question whether the institutions concerned are aware that their systems have been hacked into," he said when opening the public sector ICT security seminar.

"Other threats include data loss, sabotage, data corruption and web vandalism. It appears that we have been complacent in addressing the issue." Among the latest cases of hacking were the Parliament and Road Transport Department websites. Samsudin said a "Government Computer Emergency Response Team" has been set up at the Malaysian Administration Modernisation and Management Training Unit to provide assistance in situations affecting ICT security in the public sector.

He also launched a new circular, ICT security incidence reporting mechanism, on the steps that government agencies must take when such a situation arises. He later told reporters that all agencies and departments must ensure their ICT asset and infrastructure security systems are hacker-proof.

"It includes running the security posture assessment to test the capacity of the ICT infrastructure to withstand hacking attempts from internal or external sources," Samsudin said. The Sun reported in January that many local computer servers still lack basic system and Internet application security, making them vulnerable to hacking.

Malaysian Computer Emergency Response Team project head Raja Azrina Raja Othman said then that most prone are government and educational institution websites.