Malaysia

Website attacks part of Bersih rally, says Rais

June 17, 2011

Rais said the web attacks were politically motivated. — file picRais said the web attacks were politically motivated. — file picKUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — Information, Communications, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim today expressed belief that yesterday’s mass attacks on local websites may be connected to the upcoming Bersih rally.

Earlier, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili told reporters that initial investigations showed 90 per cent of attackers who participated in the attacks were based in Malaysia.

Today, Rais described the cyber attacks as politically-motivated and intended to disrupt the workings of the government, but did not provide details as to how the denial of service attacks were related to the July 9 rally pushing for electoral reforms.

“If for example a land authority website is hacked, then property transactions will be interrupted. The same goes for banking and others; these cyber attacks are strange and, sadly, politically motivated,” he said in a press conference today.

Rais also said the cyber attackers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and urged those involved to not damage the country out of anger towards the government.

Operation Malaysia, launched by the international hacker group known as Anonymous, had succeeded in bringing down its main target, malaysia.gov.my, at about 4am yesterday.

But it also spawned attacks on other sites, with the government stating that 60 per cent of the estimated 200 sites belonged to the federal administration.

Prior to conducting Operation Malaysia, Anonymous named the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission’s recent move to block file sharing sites like Pirate Bay and whistleblowers WikiLeaks as “inexcusable” acts of censorship that took away “basic human rights.”