Hackers want attention, say experts

KUALA LUMPUR: Cyber attacks and threats from hackers can jeopardise national security at large even if they are not politically motivated, said local experts.

Cyber warfare experts believe hackers just want attention when they try to bring down democratically-elected governments.

Executive director and senior IT security consultant of LE Global Services Sdn Bhd Fong Choong Fook said hackers and cybertroopers might be aiming for critical national infrastructures to bring down a country, go­vernment or those in power.

“Some of the examples are the financial sector, energy, telecommunications, education, government, etc,” he said yesterday.

Recently, a video purported to be from a group of hackers calling itself Anonymous Malaysia surfaced on social media. This group has declared an all-out cyberwar against the current government.

In that video, a masked person represen­ting the group also threatened to use all sources available for the Internet warfare in support of a rally planned here on Aug 29 and 30.

Commenting on that threat, Fong said he personally believed that the group was just bluffing and did not mean business.

“Website hacking is common, and shall be perceived as a ‘blessing’ because when a website gets hacked, the public gets to know about it.

“In our line of work as investigators, we have seen criminals hack into servers and hide within the server for years, to capture corporate trade secrets and sensitive data,” he added.

But on a positive note, Fong drove home the point that hackers were only looking for an opening and excuse to execute their plan for joyrides in cyberspace.

“Hackers are like you and me. It’s very hard to generalise what a hacker really wants. Of course there are opportunists, who are only preying for their own benefits,” he said.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Informa­tion and Communications Faculty dean Prof Dr Abdullah Mohd Zin said usually hackers would not get involved in politics.

He said the best way for the Government to protect its critical national information infrastructure was to have top grade cybersecurity.

“Various agencies like CyberSecurity Ma­­lay­sia are up to the task,” he said.

He added that systems in lower level entities like district offices whose security systems were not upgraded regularly were more vulnerable to such attacks. — Bernama

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