back to article Virtually everyone in Malaysia pwned in telco, govt data hack spree

The personal data of millions of Malaysians has been swiped by hackers who raided government servers and databases at a dozen telcos in the southeast Asia nation. Information on 46.2 million cellphone accounts was slurped from Malaysians telecoms providers. To put that in context, the population of Malaysia is 31.2 million; …

  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    As they say, "Welp!". It's the 21st, dontcha know...

    This brings to mind William Gibson's "Count Zero" (1986, back when we had home computers on dial up lines, and BBS, and cops going after "The Anarchists's Cookbook", things like that)

    Silicon doesn't wear out; microchips were effectively immortal. [of course this is untrue, your Xeon will go titsup at some point] The Wig took notice of the fact. Like every other child of his age, however, he knew that silicon became obsolete, which was worse than wearing out; this fact was a grim and accepted constant for the Wig, like death or taxes, and in fact he was usually more worried about his gear falling behind the state of the art than he was about death (he was

    twenty-two) or taxes (he didn't file, although he paid a Singapore money laundry a yearly percentage that was roughly equivalent to the income tax he would have been required to pay if he'd declared his gross). The Wig reasoned that all that obsolete silicon had to be going somewhere. Where it was going, he learned, was into any number of very poor places struggling along with nascent industrial bases. Nations so benighted that the concept of nation was still taken seriously.

    The Wig punched himself through a couple of African backwaters and felt like a shark cruising a swimming pool thick with caviar. Not that any one of those tasty tiny eggs arnounted to much, but you could just open wide and scoop, and it was easy and filling and it added up. The Wig worked the Africans for a week, incidentally bringing about the collapse of at least three governments and causing untold human suffering. At the end of his week, fat with the crearn of several million laughably tiny bank accounts, he retired. As he was going out, the locusts were coming in; ofher people had gotten the African idea.

    The Wig sat on the beach at Cannes for two years, ingesting only the most expensive designer drugs and periodically flicking on a tiny Hosaka television to study the bloated bodies of dead Africans with a strange and curiously innocent intensity. At some point, no one could quite say where or when or why, it began to be noted that the Wig had gone over the edge. Specifically, the Finn said, the Wig had become convinced that God lived in cyberspace, or perhaps that cyberspace was God, or some new manifestation of same.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I can see only the one solution

    I can see only the one solution - ban computers from the Internet :]

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: I can see only the one solution

      Nope. There's always SneakerNet. No, the only solution would be to ban computers, period, and go back to punch cards and mechanical processing. Let's see hackers steal millions of punch cards. It's the only logical solution, as anything that is easy to access MUST accordingly be easy to access by a resourceful imposter, like someone able to impress and then copy your key.

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

        Re: I can see only the one solution

        @ Charles 9

        This way to the Butlerian Jihad!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile, no end in sight to more sleep-walking....

    To the Cloud!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hackers can afford to miss many times, only have to get lucky once

      Its the complete reverse of classic crime. In the movie 'Heat', DeNiro (Neil) is advised to walk away from the big-heist near the end by Voight (Nate), because the cop (Pacino) can afford to miss many times (catching DeNiro), but DeNiro only gets one shot.

      Well Cloud is the total opposite if you think about it. The bad guys with their automated-hunting-scripts can afford to miss infinite times, but the legit cloud hosters / clients can't afford to screw-up even once. One mis-configured / unpatched server / backdoor-hack = Meltdown. That's why we're seeing so many!

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Hackers can afford to miss many times, only have to get lucky once

        IOW, it's the old Castle Problem. The defenders must ALWAYS be lucky while the attackers only have to be lucky ONCE.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cloud-Hacks vs Old Castle Problem / DeNiro-Pacino in Heat

      Asymmetric Warfare at its finest...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What 'get out of jail' free card...

    ...will they use here??? The cloud 'ate my homework'....

    Honest guv, we wouldn't let hackers in here... Never!

  5. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    re: obviously

    Half the population has more than one telecomms contract? Assuming that every citizen has at minimum one phone (including young children and babies). Methinks there are some "under the radar" people in that statistic

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: re: obviously

      I think it's a coverage issue. I see it in the Philippines where one company has better coverage in some spots than others.

  6. Christoph

    Most mass data breaches are of a single server - how did they manage to infiltrate all those different and presumably diverse servers, and all without being noticed until now? Or were they all running the same software with the same unpatched holes?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or was it the central government computer used to keep track of everyone?

      I would think the hackers would have the same type of success in the US if they hacked the main NSA database.

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