Malaysia arrests 11 suspects for hacking government sites

A similar government website defacement campaign is also taking place this week in Myanmar, in support of the country's jailed elected leader.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor

Malaysian officials announced on Thursday the arrest of 11 suspects believed to be part of a hacktivist group that defaced government websites during late January.

The group, calling itself Anonymous Malaysia, defaced 17 websites for local governments and universities, according to posts they made on a Facebook page earlier this month.

The defacements were part of a campaign the group called #OpsWakeUp21, during which they wanted to highlight the poor security of government websites by posting warning messages on their front pages (see screenshot above).

Malaysian authorities started an investigation after the attacks took place in late January, and 11 suspects were arrested on Wednesday.

According to local reports, the suspects were aged between 22 and 40, and from Pahang, Johor, Perak, and the Klang Valley regions.

Similar hacktivism activity reported in Myanmar

The arrests come after earlier this week, another hacktivist group, named the Myanmar Hackers, defaced sites for the Myanmar military, state-run broadcaster MRTV, the Central Bank, the Port Authority, the Food and Drug Administration, and local law enforcement.

The cyber intrusions and website defacements were part of nationwide protests against the current government, which illegitimately seized power earlier this month following a military coup.

On February 1, the Myanmar military leadership ordered the arrest of members of the National League for Democracy party, along with its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, which convincingly won the November 2020 elections after soundly defeating the military's representatives.

Mass public protests have been taking place since the coup, in a country that just years before escaped from the rule of another failed junta regime.

Since the coup, the government has attempted several times to shut down internet access for the entire country, has blocked access to social networks to prevent citizens from organizing new protests, and is currently trying to pass a new draconian security law that would allow it to easier and unfettered access to any user's personal data and browsing history.


An initial version of this article reported the arrests as members of the Myanmar Hackers group due to a misunderstanding in a source.

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