Story image

Major data breach hits Malaysia's 46 million mobile phone users

02 Nov 2017

A data breach has put more than 46 million Malaysian mobile phone users at risk and has affected many of the country’s major telecommunications providers.

Reports surfaced of the data breach on, which apparently involved the attempted sale of phone data and users’ personal information – including identity card numbers and addresses - on a website last month.

The data appears to be from 2014, suggesting that anyone who has not updated their SIM card may be at risk from the leak.

According to a statement from Malaysian Communications Minister Salleh Said Keruak, investigators are on the trail.

"We have identified several potential sources of the leak and we should be able to complete the probe soon," he announced.

While no official government announcement on the breach have been made so far, reports suggest that telecommunications providers affected by the breach include Altel, Celcom, DiGi, EnablingAsia, Friendi, Maxis, Merchantrade Asia, PLDT, Redtone, Tunetalk, Umobile and XoX.

Malaysia’s Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT) has not published any official announcement about the breach as yet.

According to a 2017 Cyber Defence Monitor report from BAE systems, 65% of Malaysian C-suite respondents say IT teams and staff are responsible in the event of a breach, while 55% of IT decision makers believe senior management and leaders are responsible.

The C-suite is also more likely to underestimate the cost of a cyber attack. They believe the cost may be $11.6 million, while IT decision makers put the cost at $19.2 million.

IT decision makers also suspect they are more likely to be targeted by a cyber attack in the next 12 months (80%), compared to just 50% of the C-suite.

Both groups see an increase in the amount and severity in the amount of cyber attacks. 90% of board respondents and 84% of IT teams predicting an increase in the number of attacks, and 90% and 87% respectively predicting an increase in the severity of attacks.

“Close examination of the responses to our survey suggested that, while these two groups agree on many things, they often do so from very different perspectives, symptomatic of a lack of clear communication and agreed basic information shared between executives and IT leaders. In turn, this division shapes how and when companies go about defending themselves and, at the extreme, whether they are able to do so effectively,” the report says.

The C-suite is more likely to suspect human error as a cyber attack enabler (85%); while IT decision makers are worried about attacks from the outside (43%).

Industrial control component vulnerabilities up 30%
Positive Technologies says exploitation of these vulnerabilities could disturb operations by disrupting command transfer between components.
McAfee announces Google Cloud Platform support
McAfee MVISION Cloud now integrates with GCP Cloud SCC to help security professionals gain visibility and control over their cloud resources.
Why AI and behaviour analytics should be essential to enterprises
Cyber threats continue to increase in number and severity, prompting cybersecurity experts to seek new ways to stop malicious actors.
Scammers targeting more countries in sextortion scam - ESET
The attacker in the email claims they have hacked the intended victim's device, and have recorded the person while watching pornographic content.
Cryptojacking and failure to patch still major threats - Ixia
Compromised enterprise networks from unpatched vulnerabilities and bad security hygiene continued to be fertile ground for hackers in 2018.
Princeton study wants to know if you have a smart home - or a spy home
The IoT research team at Princeton University wants to know how your IoT devices send and receive data not only to each other, but also to any other third parties that may be involved.
Organisations not testing incident response plans – IBM Security
Failure to test can leave organisations less prepared to effectively manage the complex processes and coordination that must take place in the wake of an attack.
65% of manufacturers run outdated operating systems – Trend Micro
The report highlights the unique triple threat facing manufacturing, including the risks associated with IT, OT and IP.