Public getting fed up with never ending data leaks

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians want their personal data to be better guarded by the powers-that-be as promised, saying further leaks will leave people in a vulnerable spot.

This comes following news that another website had emerged in which Malaysians’ personal data was apparently sold openly on the Internet at very low prices.

The website came to light when it was highlighted by Twitter user @Radz1112, who found that personal data of a person could be searched by name, address, phone number, MyKad or date of birth.

Other detailed information such as the person’s vaccination details and credit card applications was hidden behind a paywall.

The website, which was believed to have been created this month, was blocked yesterday evening by the authorities.

This latest alleged breach comes on the heels of last month’s reports of a supposed data leak involving information of 22.5 million Malaysians born between 1940 and 2004.

(Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin subsequently said the leak had not come from the National Registration Department as investigations found that the leak was from several agencies which were given some leeway to obtain information from NRD.)

Researcher Khairunnisa’ Jamal, 23, said she was disappointed with the multiple leaks as such breaches would have serious implications on the public.

This, she said, included the risk of being harassed or scammed.

“This is a serious matter. Our government needs to enforce laws that ensure every agency or company would protect our data,” she said.

Lecturer Nur Adillah Maaz, 41, said the government should identify the “insiders” who leaked such information, adding that an overhaul of the government’s database system was needed.

“Leaks happen because we have dishonest individuals handling our personal data, so we need to enforce our laws to ensure those who caused the leaks are punished,” she said.

Insurance agent Iylia Zuleikha Iskandar, 31, said she felt unsafe knowing that information about herself was accessible by anyone.

“I am quite sure that we will be getting more calls from scammers. I feel bad for the elderly, especially those who live in the rural areas, because they may fall for the scammers,” she said.

As for student Aiman Syakir Ilham, 23, he was dismayed that the trust given to those responsible for taking care of such private information had been broken.

“I believe every information is for sale now. It is a lucrative business,” he said, citing that some private colleges or universities could get their numbers.

Twitter user @Radz1112, who had tweeted about the website that sold private data, said he discovered it when he found a Twitter account promoting the website.

Chairman of cybersecurity firm LGMS Bhd and cybersecurity consultant Fong Choong Fook said the latest breach came as no surprise as Malaysian public data was available on the dark web due to previous leaks.

The government, he said, should share their findings of the previous cases.

“We suffered so many rounds of data leaks but the government never announced what kind of data, what have been done in terms of forensic investigation, who were involved and what were the root causes.

“Knowing the root cause of leaks can help us to protect ourselves,” he said.

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