Archive for category IT
By Our Correspondent
February 15, 2015
All computers and servers at 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the troubled investment fund backed by Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance, were called in and wiped clean just before the end of last year, the investigative blog Sarawak Report reported on Feb. 13.
1MDB employees told the blog that all computers and records at the fund were called in and cleaned, including personal computers and mainframe servers, supposedly because the fund’s system was hacked.
The chief economic advisor of the fund, which was started in 2009, is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. It reportedly faces RMB43 billion (US$12.01 billion) in debt and has been unable to meet loan payment dates several times. It was forced to go to Bank Negara, the country’s central bank, to ask for an extension in the payment dates, raising concern that its financial problems could threaten the entire Malaysian banking system. The bulk of the loans were made by the government-linked Malayan Banking Bhd or Maybank, and RHB Bank.
Sources confirmed the story to Asia Sentinel but the reason for the action appears unclear. It may stem from the fact that Sarawak Report, which is published by Clare Rewcastle Brown, announced last September that she had access to the fund’s emails. Read the rest of this entry »
By NICOLE PERLROTH and DAVID E. SANGER
New York Times
FEB. 16, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO — The United States has found a way to permanently embed surveillance and sabotage tools in computers and networks it has targeted in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and other countries closely watched by American intelligence agencies, according to a Russian cybersecurity firm.
In a presentation of its findings at a conference in Mexico on Monday, Kaspersky Lab, the Russian firm, said that the implants had been placed by what it called the “Equation Group,” which appears to be a veiled reference to the National Security Agency and its military counterpart, United States Cyber Command.
It linked the techniques to those used in Stuxnet, the computer worm that disabled about 1,000 centrifuges in Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. It was later revealed that Stuxnet was part of a program code-named Olympic Games and run jointly by Israel and the United States.
Kaspersky’s report said that Olympic Games had similarities to a much broader effort to infect computers well beyond those in Iran. It detected particularly high infection rates in computers in Iran, Pakistan and Russia, three countries whose nuclear programs the United States routinely monitors.
Some of the implants burrow so deep into the computer systems, Kaspersky said, that they infect the “firmware,” the embedded software that preps the computer’s hardware before the operating system starts. It is beyond the reach of existing antivirus products and most security controls, Kaspersky reported, making it virtually impossible to wipe out.
In many cases, it also allows the American intelligence agencies to grab the encryption keys off a machine, unnoticed, and unlock scrambled contents. Moreover, many of the tools are designed to run on computers that are disconnected from the Internet, which was the case in the computers controlling Iran’s nuclear enrichment plants. Read the rest of this entry »
If there is nothing wrong with his Facebook post calling on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses, why has Ismail Sabri deleted the post?
Malay Mail Online today reported that “due to his busy work schedule” the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is not expected to give his police statement this week over his controversial Facebook post call on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses.
Yes, Ismail is now very busy basking in the glory of a new “hero” status after political pressure was invoked in the Cabinet, resulting not only in 35 Ministers, but also the two MCA Minister who had been breathing fire and brimstone against Ismail’s racist remarks before yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, to meekly accept that Ismail’s call on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses were actually a very smart call to all traders and not at those of a certain race to reduce prices!
Nobody knows how the two MCA Ministers could square the circle, but clearly they have acquired such superior art of political somersaults not understood by ordinary mortals, including ordinary politicians.
However, if the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar’s tweet directing a police investigation into Ismail’s Facebook post making the racist call to Malays to boycott Chinese businesses is still to be taken seriously after the Cabinet clearance of Ismail’s Facebook post, shouldn’t the police be investigating the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the entire Cabinet to learn how they could transform Ismail’s racist call to Malay consumers to boycott to Chinese businesses into a call to all traders and not at those of a certain race to reduce prices? Read the rest of this entry »
Aside from founding Microsoft, Bill Gates is known as an all-around smart guy who has put his money where his mouth is when it comes to saving the world. It would seem that this makes his opinions worth considering when he tells us that he, like fellow brainiac Stephen Hawking and Tesla Motors founder / Iron Man inspiration Elon Musk, fears that artificial intelligence could pose a threat to humanity.
In a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Wednesday, Gates echoed the concerns expressed over the past year by Hawking, Musk and others that something vaguely resembling the science fiction scenarios from the Terminator and Matrix franchises could come to pass if the potential of artificial superintelligence is not taken seriously. Read the rest of this entry »
Do Umno/BN want Malaysia to slide down the slippery slope to be a failed state by appointing an UMNO stooge to be Chairman of MCMC?
For nine days since the beginning of the year, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has been without a head, as the former Chairman Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi had been informed that his contract which expired on Dec. 31, 2014 would not be renewed.
Utusan Malaysia editor Zulkifli Jalil said in a commentary that Sharil’s contract was not renewed because MCMC under his watch had given free reign to those who had allegedly incited racial hatred, thereby failing in its role as a regulator.
Probably Sharil should have acted firmly against those who had exploited the cyberspace and misused and abused the social media with lies and falsehoods to incite racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension.
And top of the list of those guilty of such transgressions on the Internet in the past few years when Sharil was Chairman of MCMC would be the UMNO mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia and the army of UMNO cybertroopers, who had no qualms or compunctions in disseminating lies and falsehoods on the Internet to incite racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension. Read the rest of this entry »
Four twitter carpet-bombing of my twitter site by some 100 UMNO Twitter Bomber multiple accounts in nine days – two on the RCIIIS report and two on Mashitah Ibrahim
Yesterday morning, the Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government and Sabah Barisan Nasional secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan issued a statement on the mounting and widespread disappointment and disaffection among Sabahans to the 368-page Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Illegal Immigrants in Sabah (RCIIIS), and the Barisan Nasional government’s lack of sincerity and political will to resolve the 40-year nightmare and problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah.
Rahman said: “My job and that of my colleagues is not to convince the likes of Jeffrey Kitingan and Lim Kit Siang. Our job is to convince the people because that is what matters most.”
This statement formed the basis of the latest series of attacks by UMNO Twitter Bombers on my twitter site by multiple accounts, with 30 spam attacks on my site at 10.50 am.
The UMNO Twittter Bombers, human and robotic, first showed their hands in their targeting of my twitter site during the launching of the RCIIIS Report in Kota Kinabalu on Dec. 3 at 4 pm, when some 100 tweet accounts, both human but most robotic, launched a “carpet-bombing” of my tweet site, lasting some 90 minutes from 3.54 pm to 5.32 pm, with the most intensive attack registered at 4.11 pm with 46 spam attacks.
There were 49 same tweet attacks in five minutes, delivered in three waves – 17 tweets at 3.54 pm; 4 tweets at 3.58 pm and 28 tweets at 3.59 pm.
We have compiled a list of the tweet attacks and these UMNO Twitter Bomber accounts. Read the rest of this entry »
By Caitlin Dewey
December 12, 2014
When three teenage girls from Denver left their homes for an Islamic State camp in Syria two months ago, their parents — and the FBI — were quick to search social media for clues to their escape. And in the weeks since the girls were intercepted in Frankfurt and returned home, it’s become pretty clear that they were indeed radicalized and recruited online.
But while accounts of similar Western recruits have fingered major social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, or popular messaging platforms like Kik, a report out from NPR claims another social network, Ask.fm, was actually the major force at play.
Which means Ask.fm — late of several recent cyberbullying and teen suicide scandals — may now officially qualify as the worst-reputed social network on earth. But don’t tell that to the site’s new owner, the blue-chip Internet company IAC: Ask.fm’s new owners are confident they can save the site, trolls and terrorists be damned.
“I absolutely believe rehabilitation is possible if you do the right thing,” said Doug Leeds, the site’s CEO. “There is that perception that [Ask.fm] is a parent’s worst nightmare … but safety is our first priority.”
Unfortunately for Leeds, that reputation has dogged Ask.fm since its beginning. The anonymous question-and-answer site — both a pioneer and an early warning, in the anonymous networking space — was founded in Latvia in 2010, and quickly grew to more than 100 million users in 150 countries. Its premise, both simple and mind-numbingly self-involved, is perfect for the teenage set: Essentially, when you log into Ask.fm, you’re greeted by a series of personal questions other users have left for you, with no indication of who wrote them or how they know you in real life.
You, in turn, get to pontificate to the anonymous masses on topics like “what do you do to fall asleep?” and “what’s the most delicious fruit?” — as well as, naturally, ask anonymous questions, yourself. Read the rest of this entry »
How a tiny fishing village became the gadget factory of the world, and why that’s just the beginning of its ambitions
By Steve Ranger
It’s a hot summer evening in Shenzhen, but it’s still cool inside the Apple store. The young shoppers are checking out the phones and nodding along to the music by a British indie band of the early nineties. The music they’re listening to is not only older than they are, it’s also older than most of the mega-city of 12 million people, too.
A mere 35 years ago, Shenzhen was little more than a fishing village clinging to the coast, peering enviously at wealthy Hong Kong across the water. But then it was chosen to become the first of China’s special economic zones under Deng Xiaoping — an area where foreign investment and entrepreneurialism was encouraged.
Since then it has rapidly grown into a massive metropolis — one of the largest cities on the planet — and along the way it has also become the manufacturing heart of the global tech industry. If Silicon Valley is the world’s software epicentre, then Shenzhen is home of hardware. Read the rest of this entry »
Broadband Issues (5)
September 12, 2014
A perennial problem is that relative to income, broadband prices are still high in Malaysia. With industry experts and analysts saying that prices are not going to come off anytime soon, can measures be taken to remedy the current situation?
“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”- Thomas Jefferson
Human beings like the idea of the future because it brings fresh starts and the possibility of righting past wrongs. In the context of broadband pricing, all Malaysians are doubtlessly looking forward to the day when broadband prices become more affordable. In an utopian world, this would mean broadband would become more affordable, as affordable as water and electricity is to us today.
While we’re in an utopian frame of mind, let’s think about what today’s broadband landscape would be like if our government had used Singapore or South Korea as benchmarks on how to rollout a national broadband initiative.
It is indisputable that the National Broadband Plan has resulted in higher broadband penetration in the country, compared to pre-HSBB (High Speed Broadband). And while Telekom Malaysia (TM – the company that owns and operates the HSBB infrastructure) has played a key role in this achievement, the fact remains that the burden of fulfilling the NBP goals rests on one company.
The result of having a single, dominant player as opposed to multiple players building and operating broadband infrastructure is that the market is not as competitive as it could have been. Read the rest of this entry »
Broadband Issues (4)
September 11, 2014
Telekom Malaysia’s monopoly over the provision of basic broadband infrastructure and its drive for profit, is likely to keep broadband prices in Malaysia high. Only a drastic change in scenario, which is unlikely to happen, will make a difference.
While Telekom Malaysia (TM) has been lauded as the ‘national broadband champion’, particularly after the implementation of phase one of the HSBB (High-Speed Broadband) initiative, many will say that it is not.
TM itself argues, in an e-mailed response to KiniBiz, that there is little room to bring broadband rates down and maintains that there are special circumstances in Malaysia which makes broadband rates here higher than in other countries.
It is now four years since its fibred broadband service Unifi has been introduced, yet prices of the service are still high and so are prices of its Streamyx broadband service, which runs using ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) technology on copper lines. Read the rest of this entry »
Broadband Issues (3)
September 10, 2014
In today’s instalment, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) chairman Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi and Fadhlullah Suhaimi Abdul Malek, director at the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu), reply to criticisms that broadband is expensive and slow in Malaysia.
So why aren’t Malaysians getting cheaper, faster Internet on par with our Asean neighbours? Industry regulator MCMC says the capability is actually there but lack of demand and the need for equitable access are factors accounting for this.
KiniBiz asked MCMC chairman Mohamed Sharil why the target is only 50Mbps by 2018 when Singapore is already able to offer 1Gps to home users. Industry experts say that Telekom Malaysia, the dominant broadband player is believed to be able to offer that capacity to users already and therefore this should be possible.
“While we’re looking at this, we want to be equitable and egalitarian. Even today there are some parts of KL that can be serviced with 100Mbps already. But when we announce 50Mbps it is for every household – any household that wants broadband by that time (2018) will have access to that minimum of 50 (mbps),” says Mohamed Sharil.
“We want access to be equitable. The national target for household access is 50Mbps. By the end of this year we’re looking at 10,000 homes in downtown KL with 100Mbps already . So it’s not that we’re not doing that, we are; but the bigger message is no Malaysian gets left behind,” he adds. Read the rest of this entry »
Sept 9, 2014
Malaysia has its broadband strategy all wrong with some of the lowest speeds in Asean and the highest charges. Perhaps it could learn something from South Korea which has been very successful in increasing broadband penetration.
When you think of the words “high-speed broadband” and are asked to associate an Asian country with it, there’s no doubt that South Korea will be at the top of your list.
It’s hardly surprising then that in its 1Q14 State of the Internet report, Akamai Technologies highlighted that at country/region level, South Korea continued to have the highest average connection speed at 23.6 megabits per second (Mbps) and maintained a broadband adoption rate of 94% in the first quarter.
According to BuddeComm, a global independent telecommunications research firm, South Korea has the world’s highest number of broadband services per capita. Into 2014 over 38% of the population and around 95% of households were broadband subscribers.
It also pointed out that since 2006, South Korea’s policy emphasis has been on completing a Broadband convergence Network (BcN) with wireline speeds of 50-100Mbps per household and 1-2Mbps on wireless connections.
It’s not just high broadband speeds that South Korea is famous for, but also the affordability of high-speed broadband. Read the rest of this entry »
Sept 8, 2014
Malaysia has ambitions of becoming a developed nation in six years’ time, yet broadband speed and affordability remains a critical, unresolved issue. In fact, research shows that even Thailand is ahead of us in terms of broadband speed and affordability. Where did we go wrong?
Although Malaysia is targeting developed nation status by 2020, our broadband speeds are still lagging behind our closest neighbour Singapore, and even that of Vietnam and Thailand, as shown by a study in April this year by Asean DNA.
The study was highlighted in an article by Asean Briefing, which said that within Asean, Singapore and Thailand have the fastest average Internet speeds at 61 megabits per second (mbps) and 17.7 mbps. Vietnam has an average speed of 13.1 mbps while Cambodia has 5.7 mbps. Malaysia on the other hand, has an average speed of 5.5 mbps. The average Asean Internet speed is 12.4 mbps, which puts our broadband speed well below average.
What’s more disturbing is that while Malaysia lags behind in Internet speeds, it’s service comes at a much higher price – more than triple that of services in countries such as Singapore and Thailand on a comparable basis .
A Comparison of Broadband Speeds and Charges 090914 02For instance, Telekom Malaysia Bhd’s UniFi charges RM199 (US$62.40) a month for its 10mbps fibred Internet service, while as the article by Asean Briefing points out Singapore’s largest telco offers 15 mbps Internet for US$30 a month and Thailand charges around US$25 a month for 12 mbps speeds. Read the rest of this entry »
What would be the response of the authorities if there is a non-Malay Isma which openly attacked Najib as anti-Chinese or anti-Indian, out to wipe out the Chinese or Indians in Malaysia?
In response to online news reports that Isma had concocted downright lies and falsehoods in its latest accusations of a plethora of crimes and horrors against me like being “anti-Malay”, “gunning for Malays since 1960s” and “wanting to wipe out the Malay race”, I had tweeted yesterday, among others, the following:
1. How should I react? Such blabber. My hair should stand but sorry, No! http://goo.gl/x7MYkW Isma: Kit Siang wants 2wipe out Malay race (Mkini)
2. Should I lose sleep? Will u if some crazy hurl abuse at u? http://goo.gl/OxUefz Isma labels Kit Siang “anti-Malay” – Looi Sue-Chern (TMI)
3. Thankful for live examples of jesters and liars. http://goo.gl/6lCfW8 In reprisal, Isma claims Kit Siang gunning for Malays since 1960s (MMO)
There have been hundreds of responses on the facebook, twitter, blog and online news portals to the wild allegations by Isma and advising me how to react – basically that I should just ignore Isma and that I should sue it until kingdom come! Read the rest of this entry »
Call for a high-powered squad comprising MCMC, Police and representatives from BN and PR, to clean up social media of incessant incitement of racial and religious animosities and hatred through lies and falsehoods to set Malaysia aflame
The latest criminal harassment and intimidation of DAP National Vice Chairperson and MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok for her “Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014” video must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
The police should act under Section 124A of the Penal Code which provides for up to seven-year jail sentence for the offence by anyone who “attempts to overawe by means of criminal force” a Member of Parliament from exercising her lawful powers.
Last night, Utusan Malaysia had, around midnight, sent an SMS alert stating “Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was slapped by an unknown man after a ceramah at Taman Permatang Pauh at 11.30 pm”.
However, the Umno-owned daily soon issued a correction stating that Kok had not been slapped but was instead “handed” a rotten egg by a man, which later broke when they shook hands. Read the rest of this entry »
by Boo Su-Lyn
The Malaysian Insider
November 26, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 — Fara Halina Rosli updates her Facebook status only once every three days, but the 24-year-old chambering student uses other messaging apps daily to text, and share photographs/cute digital stickers.
Social media analysts say that chat apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, LINE and KakaoTalk are cutting into the social networking giant’s youth customer base in Malaysia, where the entire Facebook population numbers about 13 million.
“Chat apps offer a higher level of privacy versus Facebook or Twitter,” Jagdish Singh Malhi, social media director at global media company Universal McCann, told The Malay Mail Online in a recent email interview.
“Although you can set your privacy level, once you’re friends with a parent, relative or minder, then your personal space is somewhat constricted… In fact, the fastest growing age group on Facebook are the boomers and one of my clients even had her grandma win an iPhone in a Facebook campaign!,” he added.
Facebook admitted last month that its usage among teenagers was dropping, with American business magazine Forbes quoting its chief financial officer David Ebersman saying that the site is witnessing a “decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens.” Read the rest of this entry »
Leven Woon | August 10, 2013
Free Malaysia Today
Johor Bahru DAP division secretary Alan Tang today claimed that someone forged his identity on a new Facebook account and uploaded a Hari Raya greeting with an image of a roasted pork head.
PETALING JAYA: Johor Bahru DAP division secretary Alan Tang today vehemently denied posting a Hari Raya greeting that featured a roast pork dish on social network site Facebook, claiming that his identity had been forged.
The image showing a roasted pork head sandwiched between the Malay traditional snack lemang (glutinous rice) and ketupat (dumpling) surfaced on the first day of Hari Raya and quickly earned the ire of the Muslim community.
Tang, when contacted, told FMT that he could not “have been so dumb to produce such a greeting”.
“I’m the one always advising my friends and comrades against touching on issues pertaining to race, religion and royalty, and it is even more impossible for me to do it myself,” said the 28-year-old Tang.
A print screen of Tang’s facebook account with the greeting was circulated on several pro-BN websites, but a search on Tang’s account found no such posting. Read the rest of this entry »
By Zurairi AR
The Malay Mail Online
August 01, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — An article by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on “The Chinese Dilemma” has been removed by Facebook for allegedly violating its community standards, according to the former prime minister’s Facebook page’s administrator.
The column piece, originally published in English daily New Straits Times (NST) and then posted on Dr Mahathir’s Facebook page, painted a portrait of Chinese Malaysians in a dilemma, caught ostensibly between their thirst for political control while retaining their economic clout and the decades-old power-sharing formula.
“Today, Facebook has informed us that the article was removed for violating its supposed community standards. This means there were many who were disturbed and opposed, and complained to Facebook against what Tun wrote,” said a posting by an administrator who identified himself as “KN”. The original posting had received more than two million likes.
KN had urged fans of the page to read the online version of the article on NST’s website and decide for themselves whether the article violated Facebook’s Community Standards or was just an “unpleasant truth”, as he called it.
Facebook users can anonymously report any posts that they believe violate the social network’s community standards by clicking on a link on each post.
A post which receives enough complaints will then be investigated by Facebook’s User Operations team, and it will then be removed if the team decides that it has violated the standards.
It is believed that Dr Mahathir’s article may have been removed for promoting hate speech, which according to Facebook includes attacks on people based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease. Read the rest of this entry »
Jeswan Kaur | July 14, 2013
Free Malaysia Today
If BN thinks it can mislead the rakyat by tricking them into believing the Red Bean Army is the real threat back home, it is mistaken.
The federal government seems to be in a disarray, going by its classic sense of missing the woods for the trees.
Instead of tackling the hard-pressed issues beleaguring the rakyat, the Barisan Nasional government has decided it has a bigger battle to fight – that too against an entity called the Red Bean Army, whom BN claims is opposition DAP funded and supported.
So much so that BN is accusing DAP of spending RM100 million since 2008 to fund the Red Bean Army – a claim that remains unsubstantiated and has been refuted several times by DAP’s national advisor, Lim Kit Siang.
Still, BN refuses to pay any heed to the fact that DAP has no hand in sponsoring anything called the ‘Red Bean Army’ (RBA).
Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has gone on to say that the government will come down hard on the RBA, including using the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998; the Penal Code; and Facebook to counter it and others who use the Internet to defame the police force. Read the rest of this entry »
by Allan CF Goh
The Red Bean Army is coming,
So claim the top security.
They are so very well hidden,
Full of devils’ ability.
But they cannot be found at all,
Even by closest scrutiny.
Do these dangerous beans exist?
Perhaps in one’s mad agony? Read the rest of this entry »