CYBERJAYA, Oct 19 — The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (K-KOMM) has held discussions with its national cybersecurity specialist agency, CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) about the steps that should be taken to face the challenges of cybersecurity during the 15th general election (GE15) period.

Its deputy minister, Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the experiences such as cybersecurity during GE14 in 2018, when the mobile phones of some election candidates could not be used because of incoming calls resulting in ‘hung’ phones, should be noted.

“We are trying to discuss with CSM so that we can report to them immediately if any (situation arises). It will allow the CSM to identify the hackers involved as soon as possible,” he said when asked to comment on the government’s strategy to combat cyber intrusions and the spread of fake news during the GE15.

In a press conference after closing the The National ICT Security Discourse Finals – CyberSAFE™️ Challenge Cup 2022 (NICTSeD) here today, Zahidi advised voters not to easily believe the fake news spread on social media.

“If possible, we ask voters to be exercise caution and be vigilant. Do not believe (everything) because we do not want it to be like GE14…there were some issues they heard and thought were right, but after the election it seems they were not true,” he said.

In Malaysia, any sharing of false news is an offence under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, which provides for a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or a jail sentence not exceeding one year or both if convicted.

Earlier, Zahidi in his speech said cybersecurity education should begin early in school to enable the younger generation to learn cybersecurity ethics.

“It includes respecting and displaying appropriate behaviour online in addition to knowing how to report cyberthreats such as cyberbullying,” he said.

In the final stage of the ninth edition of NICTSeD today, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Alor Akar, Pahang was named the winner after successfully presenting an argument related to cybersecurity, while SMK Aminuddin Baki, Kuala Lumpur took second place and SMK Sultan Abu Bakar, Pahang came in third.

NICTSeD is a CSM initiative under the ‘CyberSAFE in Schools’ programme held specifically to foster awareness and build the knowledge of the younger generation about the importance of cybersecurity, and the ethical and responsible use of technology.


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