Malaysia loses $897.6M to cybercrime

Country chalks up billions of ringgit in losses over last five years to cybercriminals, reveals government official, who notes cybersecurity awareness still low among organization and individuals.

Malaysia has lost 2.75 billion ringgit (US$897.6M) over the past five years to cybercrime, with the financial sector hit the hardest, reveals an official from the country's national cybersecurity agency.

The figure was shared by CyberSecurity Malaysia's business development head, Mohd Anwer Mohamed Yusoff, who also noted that cybersecurity awareness among companies and individuals in the country remained low, reported local newspaper The Star on Thursday.

While the financial sector was affected the most, Mohd Anwer noted that the losses included several sectors and areas such as intellectual property and copyright infringement on the Internet. "Admittedly, the more developed we are in terms of the cyberworld, the higher the risk of cybercrimes," he said.

Last June, several government Web sites in Malaysia were brought down by hacktivist group Anonymous, which was protesting the government's censorship of several Web sites, movies and television shows.

Last December, a local university professor noted that the country must build its own IT security software to reduce the risk of data leaks and breaches from relying on foreign software, according to reports.