PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has arrested two Immigration officers and four others in connection with the hacking of the department's computer systems.
The four are technical staff of the company supplying computer systems to the Immigration Department, and the arrests of the four employees of the company led to the discovery of several computers at the department which had been installed with devices and hacking software.
Sources with knowledge of the investigation confirmed the arrests of the six suspects, aged between 35 and 42 years old, during a nationwide sweep against members of a syndicate whose activities in selling false temporary work permits (PLKS) were uncovered.
However, it is not immediately known where and when the arrests were made.
"Following the discovery, graft investigators had seized several pieces of IT equipment and computers from the Immigration Department. Also confiscated were laptops and external hard drives in the possession of the four company employees," a source said on Friday (April 9).
The MACC has also identified four hotels in Kuala Lumpur that were being used as the syndicate's operation centre.
MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki confirmed the arrests.
"We view the hacking activities as a serious breach of security and we will investigate the activities of the syndicate members, especially those who abetted in the hacking of the Immigration system," he said.
The syndicate, believed to have been operating since 2017, is said to have installed transmitters in the IT system room to hack into the Immigration Department’s database.
This allowed the syndicate to change passwords of Immigration officers and subsequently print the PLKS from their own operations centre outside the department’s office.
It was reported that the findings of the 2018 Auditor-General’s report had led authorities to the discovery.