MCMC Contractor Allegedly Under Probe over Data Leak

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The claim of a PCBS connection in data breach.

Representational image

A private company appointed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is believed to be under investigation by police over the leak of personal data involving over 46 million mobile phone subscribers in Malaysia, the New Straits Times reported.

It was reported in 2013, that the MCMC had appointed a company to manage the Public Cellular Blocking Service (PCBS) system, an initiative by the commission launched in 2014 to provide a service to deactivate mobile phones when they are reported stolen.

Its role was to ensure stolen handphones are rendered unusable within three hours after it is reported missing.

On Nov 27, Malaysiakini reported that it had analysed the data from the breach of data security and traced the source to the PCBS.

The news portal made its conclusion on the data breach after it found several file names of the leaked telco data containing either ‘PCBS’, ‘MCMC’ or ‘SKMM’ (the acronym for MCMC in Malay). File names from at least six telcos were said to contain the said acronyms.

Reportedly, Multimedia and Communications Minister Salleh Said Keruak and MCMC chief operating officer Mazlan Ismail have declined to confirm or deny the link between the PCBS and the massive data breach, which is believed to have occurred in 2014.

Meanwhile, police are tracking down the owner of an email account as part its investigation, NST reported.

Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun told the daily that the owner of the account has yet to be found but did not wish to elaborate on how the email owner was linked to the investigation.

The data breach was first discovered by Malaysian technology news website after it was informed that someone was trying to sell huge databases of personal details for an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin on its forums.

Earlier reports:

Nov 18, Data Leaked Traced to Oman IP Site

Nov 2, Probe into Massive Data Breach Almost Complete

Oct 27, Row over Data Breach Article Resolved