Malaysia election: Candidates from both sides claim phones hacked, getting spammed by US numbers

Malaysia election: Candidates from both sides claim phones hacked, getting spammed by US numbers
PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA - Both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan candidates say their handphones have been hacked and are being spammed by calls originating from the United States.

"BN leaders' handphones have been under technical attack since morning," said Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications director Datuk Seri Rahman Dahlan.

"Calls from overseas keep coming in every few seconds! To prevent us from communicating with our machinery," tweeted the Sepanggar parliamentary candidate.

"My phone seems to be under some form of spam attack this morning. Strange," Barisan Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who is defending his Rembau parliamentary seat, tweeted on Wednesday morning, with a screenshot of these calls.

"I have been receiving disturbing missed calls from USA and Europe to my handphone since morning 9am till now, non stop and it is still going on," said Gerakan secretary-general and Simpang Renggam candidate Liang Teck Meng.

"Sorry to friends who couldn't reach me and please call my PA (personal assistant) Mr Beh for any urgency (sic)," he posted on Facebook, with accompanying screenshots.

Earlier, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said he and other party leaders received many calls from unknown numbers appearing like automated calls from overseas.

He said the "cyber warfare" on their handphones was an attempt at preventing members from communicating with each other.

He also urged the public and party members to practise caution whenever they receive calls appearing to be from them as it was attempt to hack their phones.

Lim said even his personal assistant Tan Khong Chong received a fake message which was said to be from him, claiming that he had changed his number.

The message read, "Since yesterday my phone has been hacked … all contacts hilang."

Lim said even the phones belonging to his father Lim Kit Siang and his press secretary Cheong Yin Fan were similarly affected.

"We will find out how widely it has affected our members.

"We will set up a parallel system with the existing system to ensure that we can continue to communicate," he said during a press conference at the Air Putih DAP centre.

Lembah Pantai PKR candidate Fahmi Fadhil also said his mobile phone was "flooded" with calls since 7am from unidentified numbers from the United States.

He said he was receiving such calls every minute, making it impossible for him to receive genuine calls.

"My email has also been inundated with phishing emails, probably to get information on my password to gain access to my Facebook or other social media accounts," he said.

Fahmi was speaking to reporters after casting his vote at SMK Seri Pantai in Jalan Kerinchi at 8.30am.

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