Anonymous threat promps government concern on cyber-security

The government is taking the necessary cyber security measures to prevent hacking of the government’s official website, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Dr Rais Yatim said today.

He said the government was prepared for any eventuality of attacks.

“This is something we have not expected but we have faced this threat a few times before.

“We have informed the authorities to be aware of it; we have been taking the necessary preventive action through Mampu (Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit), MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) and agencies responsible for security,” he told reporters after opening the World Bloggers and Social Media Summit 2011.

Dr Rais was commenting on a plan by an international internet-freedom activist group, Anonymous, to hack into the government’s official website today.
‘Anonymous’ had cited alleged Internet censorship by the government and the recent blocking of 10 file-sharing sites in Malaysia as two of the reasons for wanting to launch the attack, which it codenamed “Operation Malaysia”.

Commenting on that, Dr Rais reiterated that Malaysia did not impose Internet censorship but said it would not hesitate to take action against websites which contained criminal elements.

He said it was also not fair for the group to attack the government’s portal because of that, and added that the group had misunderstood Malaysia’s intention in banning the sites.

“I think they have misunderstood the good intention as well as the reality of the day. We do not have censorship. Only when crime is committed through the cyberspace, the mechanism (censorship) comes into place,” he said.

He said the banned websites could appeal to the MCMC to lift the ban, although so far the MCMC had not received any appeal to do so.

Earlier, in his keynote address, Dr Rais spoke of the need to have effective good writers in the blogging community who were fair and responsible in their writing.

He said the professionalism and guidelines for blogging must always be upheld.  “Blogs and blogging are a new phenomenon. There are thousands of bloggers but how many of them are actually trained in journalism. It is important to understand what is guiding them and make them responsible for what they write and the way they illustrate news.

“I firmly believe that bloggers have a huge role to play, as a “new voice” in this borderless world. They must use the voice for the good of our nation – to be catalysts for integration among our people,” he said.

He said that with the influx of information, the people also must equip themselves with the knowledge of choosing what is best for them and society.

On another matter, he said that as of June 8, total broadband subscription in Malaysia had reached 4.98 million, household broadband subscription, 3.9 million and wireless broadband subscription, 2.7 million.

Internet users in Malaysia stood at 17.5 million as at April and 3G subscription at 9.7 million as of the first quarter of this year, he added.  Some 400 bloggers from across the world attended the event.

– Bernama