Home / IT / Telecom / Tech/ China-linked cyber-attacks likely as Malaysia reviews projects: security firm

China-linked cyber-attacks likely as Malaysia reviews projects: security firm


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 16 August 2018 00:19


 

Kuala Lumpur (Reuters): Chinese State-sponsored hackers may be targeting companies and state agencies in Malaysia as it looks to review several major projects linked to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, cybersecurity firm FireEye Inc. said on Wednesday.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who took power after an election win in May, will be in China on Friday seeking to renegotiate and possibly cancel billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese-invested projects authorised by his predecessor, Najib Razak.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), unveiled in 2013, aims to develop a network of land and sea links with Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

FireEye said it had found indications that cyber espionage activities were increasing throughout Southeast Asia, as China-based groups and others sought to gain information on BRI projects and deals.

Malaysia’s recent political changes and its reassessment of China-backed projects put it at heightened risk of such activity, FireEye’s head of global intelligence operations, Sandra Joyce, told a media briefing.

“Malaysia is looking more and more like a typical target of Chinese State-sponsored cyber activity,” she said.

“As Chinese investments continue to be scrutinised, that is going to be a motivator for groups ... to gain more intelligence and information on the future of these projects.”

China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. China routinely denies accusations of involvement in hacking and says it is a main victim of it.

The Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while a spokesman for the foreign ministry declined to comment.

Joyce said Malaysian targets could include any company or agency involved in a $20-billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project.

The 688-km (428-mile) project, linking Malaysia’s west coast with ports in the east, has been suspended pending discussions over pricing and graft allegations.

Mahathir’s Government also halted work on two projects worth more than $2.3 billion awarded to the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau.

Joyce said its observations on Malaysia were in keeping with developments in other countries with major BRI interests such as Belarus, which has been targeted by a Chinese group called Roaming Tiger.

FireEye said in July that a China-based group identified as TEMP.Periscope had interfered in a general election in Cambodia, breaching systems used by several Cambodian state agencies and political entities. 


Share This Article


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Reaching global quality standards through Deming Award

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The importance of quality in the contemporary competitive business environment cannot be over-emphasised. Total Quality Management (TQM)is a company-wide, all pervasive management philosophy, which organisations globally, in many business sectors hav


Ramsar accreditation of Colombo Wetlands: Rebranding Colombo as a Wetland City

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Colombo, once known to be “kolonthota,” has always been identified as a wetland complex at the heart of the Kelani river delta. Today this city is increasingly drying up, with around 20 sq km left as wetlands which continue to be threatened every


Coup Sri Lanka: some winners, mostly losers

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

As a president proves shockingly stubborn, a nation waits with baited breath as to what His Excellency the loose cannon on a rocky slope will do next. Two Prime Ministers and the fates of their respective parliamentary groups hang in the balance lik


Rising dollar and bank NPA, brothers in arms?

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The rising Non-Performing Advances (NPA/NPAs) is a matter of concern to the entire financial industry. It is a nightmare. The weekend papers have published some articles based on interviews journalists conducted with respective bank CEOs and also bas


Columnists More