The Star Online (17 March 2013)
By PATRICK LEE
PETALING JAYA: Waging cyber war, even if done in the name of Malaysia, is still a crime.
National Security Council (NSC) secretary Datuk Mohamed Thajudeen Abdul Wahab (pic) said that Malaysia outlawed cyber attacks and that anyone caught doing so, would be punished.
“In Malaysia, cyber hacking is a criminal offense against the laws of the country, irrespective of whether the it has been committed by citizens or by foreigners,” he said.
Mohamed was referring to the three-day cyber war between Malaysian and Filipino hackers from Mac 1 to 4.
Malaysian hackers first attacked Filipino Government and private websites, hours after after Sulu gunmen and security forces clashed outside Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu.
Filipino hackers responded in kind, and up to two hundred websites belonging to both countries were defaced before a “ceasefire” was called.
Mohamed said 36 local private websites were defaced, though he was mum about how many Government ones were affected.
He said that NSC alerted “critical agencies” as soon as the attacks started.
“None of these critical websites suffered any major problem,” he said, adding that Government sites were in the past, vulnerable to attacks.
Mohamed added that it was not easy to pinpoint the attacks, though he confirmed that neither Government was involved.
“We understand that the Philippine side suffered a bigger problem compared to the Malaysian side,” he said.
Mohamed said that it was up to the Attorney-General to take action against hackers, adding that locals could be tracked “eventually”, if not immediately.
“Tracking attackers from the Philippine side would require close cooperation with the authorities there,” he said.
Hackers can be charged under Section 4 of the Computer Crimes Act 1997, which carries a fine of not more than RM150,000, a jail term of not more than 10 years or both.
“Whether or not action will be taken against the perpetrators is another matter,” Mohamed said.
Hackers, he added, were getting more sophisticated, and that the Government was trying to keep up with the technology.
He said that there were systems in place for events like these, and that they were tested regularly.