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Gobind will look into the massive telco data breach

Remember that massive data breach where over 46 million Malaysian mobile phone numbers were leaked? Communications and Multimedia minister Gobind Singh Deo does, and he has revealed that he will be looking into that as well as several other incidents that have happened recently in this space.

According to his Facebook post, Gobind said that he has called for “various reports on several incidents” from his ministry, reports that include “amongst others, the data breach fiasco, the bot attack on handphones we saw on election day and several directives issued such as the blocking of online portals on election night”.

Gobind also said that there will be a review of “certain provisions” in the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 where proposals to amend them will be considered.

“I welcome suggestions from all concerned and I will be in touch with Mr Eric Paulsen from Lawyers for Liberty and the Bar Council for discussions in this process,” he said in post.

The data breach that was reported by last year was a massive one. Details from over 46 million numbers were leaked including information like prepaid and postpaid numbers, customer details, addresses as well as sim card information.

In addition to that, there was also a breach in the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC), Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and the Malaysian Dental Association (MDA)’s databases where over 81,000 records were leaked. These databases contained personal information, MyKad numbers, mobile/work/home phone numbers as well as work and residential addresses.

Needless to say, these data breaches were a big problem and one that definitely needs to be looked into and addressed. It’s good that our new Minister of Communications and Multimedia will be taking a look at them and we’re looking forward to the results.

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We also hope that he will be able to introduce new measures to better safeguard our data considering how much of our identity is now online.