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Verify doubtful social media info
Published on: Friday, May 19, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: People have been urged to verify with the authorities and not spread any messages they receive on social media or messaging apps regarding the ransomware virus in order to prevent undue anxiety among the public.

"What we are concerned here is when such ransomware incidents occur worldwide, there are also irresponsible parties that tie news of the event with the local banking sector (with claims of the bank automated teller machines (ATM) and online banking being not safe to be used and so on) where this has been spreading through local WhatsApp groups and social media," said Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Enforcement and Networking Safety Sector Senior Officer Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin.

"So this is something that is not healthy. To the consumers, do not spread such claims as it will give rise to anxiety in the public. Perhaps they treat it as a joke but actually it is not."

"So for consumers if the receive any message from social media or messaging apps talking about a threat, they should refer to National Security Council (MKN) or Bank Negara for banking related issues for example.

Let us not contribute to the problem which can cause the people to be worried."

He said this to the media at the MCMC 'Consumer Rights Empowerment Seminar Programme 2017" at a hotel here on Thursday.

On the ransomware issue as a whole Zulkarnain said the government has several agencies overseeing the country's cybersecurity and looking into the cyberattacks.

"The main agency is the Ministry of Science and Technology ( Mosti) which has already released the latest statement where two companies have been affected by the ransomware virus.

"We have to understand that in the cyber security framework we have 10 sectors of national critical information infrastructure including banking, health, electricity and telecommunications for example.

"In case of any serious threats, these overseeing agencies will issue a statement."

He said for MCMC they also have their "Sebenarnya.my" portal where they have uploaded matters relating to hoaxes or fake news related to this ransomware issue for the public to refer to.

"To date we see that there are no further statements from the overseeing agencies to indicate the level is at a dangerous level but in combating the ransomware virus issue, consumers or Small Medium Enterprise (SME) companies also need to take a proactive approach to continue to update and patch their (computer) security software against viruses, malware and others.

"This is what needs to done because prevention is better than cure. Don't only just know how to utilise but not protect your computers and networks from virus attacks."

The seminar aimed to provide awareness to the public regarding consumer issues often encountered in the communications and multimedia industry in the country.

A total of 250 participants comprising representatives of local university students, state consumer organisations, government agencies and non-governmental agencies were also present.

The seminar was organised by the telecommunication company DiGi, Maxis, UMobile and Telekom Malaysia.

In the inaugural seminar, participants were given the opportunity to dialogue openly.

Overall, Sabah is among the six states that had the lowest number of complaints for the first quarter of 2017 accounting for five per cent of the total complaints received in Malaysia.

Following the complaints, MCMC conducted integrated enforcement actions and a total of 94 compounds worth RM3.45 million were issued for violations of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for various offenses in 2016.

MCMC as the regulatory body has taken several proactive approaches that includes strengthening of consumer rights, monitoring, regulatory and operational efficiency improvements focused on telecommunications, broadcasting, postal and online activities. - Neil Chan

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