Foreign-based hacker group plans to strike websites

PETALING JAYA: A hacker group has threatened to attack the www.malaysia.gov.my website.

The group, which calls itself Anonymous, will launch the attack at 3.30am Wednesday and has named it "Operation Malaysia."

It posted the threat in a graphic on the website i.imgur.com/PTFWh.png Tuesday.

Several local hackers, when contacted said at minimum the government portal would be defaced and at worse it would be brought down.

But they said the worst would be that the hackers pry personal, credit card or financial data from a government website, or an e-payment concessionaire such as MyEG.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the F-Secure Corporation a computer security software company based in Helsinki, Finland tweeted about the threat at 4.42am Malaysian time yesterday.

Several hours later, Anonymous announced its reasons for wanting to attack the government portal, which were posted in an open letter that started with "Greetings, Malaysia ..." on a website and in a video on YouTube.

It said it was acting against what it claimed were various acts of censorship by the Malaysian Government and also because of the recent move to block file-sharing sites in Malaysia.

Anonymous also accused the Government of censoring films and TV shows, and for restricting the Internet which it said was a basic human right.

"We fear that if you make further decisions to take away human freedom, we are obligated to act fast and have no mercy," the group said in its statement.

On YouTube, a video featured a digitally-generated voice that read out the group's message.

There had been an uptick in such "hacktivism" in recent weeks, where hacker groups targeted various organisations for political purposes.

Recently, the hacker group launched attacks on Turkish Government websites for alleged Internet censorship. Following that incident, Turkey arrested 32 people, suspected to be Anonymous members.