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(Update) Local groups including 'Anonymous' attack Malaysia websites

AvantiKumar | June 16, 2011
'90% of the attacks on 91 Malaysian websites came from local hackers' and that international hacker group 'Anonymous' is not solely responsible: MOSTI



KUALA LUMPUR, 19 JUNE 2011 -  Though international hacker group 'Anonymous'  targetted Malaysian government websites in an attack named Operation Malaysia, following the recent decision by Malaysian government regulator MCMC [Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission] to block 10 filesharing sites, about 90 per cent of the attacks came from local groups.

The attack (in the form of DDOS, distributed denial of service) started June 15 on a Sabah state government tourist portal and the hacker group, which claimed it was responsible for cyber attacks on other government sites such as Spain, Egypt and Turkey, said it would focus on Malaysian federal government sites from 3.30 a.m. Thursday Malaysian time (1930 GMT Wednesday). In addition, 'Anonymous' has posted statements on YouTube and other sites warning the Malaysian government that 'acts of censorship are inexcusable.'

Late on Wednesday June 15,  Malaysia's information minister Rais Yatim said that the ban on the filesharing sites was to stop copyright infringements and was not a move to curb internet freedom, and that government agencies were taking preventive measures to offset cyber attacks from 'Anonymous' or any local groups such as Dragonforce Malaysia.

Malaysian agency CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer Lt Col Dato' Husin Jazri (Retired) on Friday evening, June 17, said that the attacks were ongoing but that most sites including were now up and running. " In the meantime, police have identified some of the hackers. As far as we know, no data has been stolen or damaged during the attacks but we will hold a full post-mortem investigation and make further announcements [in due course]."

During a seperate media briefing late Friday June 17, the Malaysian minister of science, technology & innovation (MOSTI), Datuk Seri Maximus Johnity Ongkili said that  "90 per cent of the attacks came from local goups."

Certain Malaysian government sites including were not accessible for several hours from the early hours of Thursday morning (June 16).  According to WiMAX firm YTL Communications, which has set up a tracking site via its 4G Yes portal, said that MCMC's website came under attack but is still functioning as well as The New Straits Times website. "These attacks began at about 11.30pm last night (June 15) and lasted until about 4.00am. Initially, 51 government sites were attacked and 41 of these were disrupted."

According to a statement by MCMC's Network Security Centre late on June 16 the number of sites attacked by unknown hackers increased to 91 websites, 51 of which were government-related, and that 76 sites had been recovered with enhanced security measures. "As of 4.00pm this afternoon [June 16], most Government-related websites are accessible to the public and have either not been affected by the service outages or have recovered from the attacks."


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