Cybersecurity Laws in Malaysia

Cybersecurity Laws in Malaysia

Olivia Swee Leng Tan (Multimedia University, Malaysia), Rossanne Gale Vergara (Multimedia University, Malaysia), Raphael C. W. Phan (Multimedia University, Malaysia), Shereen Khan (Multimedia University, Malaysia) and Nasreen Khan (Multimedia University, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9715-5.ch030
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The progression of information and communication technologies (ICT) use have been matched by the rise in corruption and abuse of technology for criminal activities. In 2018, The Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team reported 10,699 incidents, of which “fraud” had the highest reported incidents (5,123) and the second highest “intrusion attempt” (1,805) of the total incidents. Malaysia cyber laws have existed since 1997 and are still used today to prosecute cybercrimes. Most recent cases were charged under Malaysian laws—Computer Crimes Act 1997, Copyright (Amendment) Act 1997, Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, Personal Data Protection Act 2010, and Malaysian Penal Code—to combat cybercrimes. This chapter discusses Malaysia's cyber laws, cases charged under these laws, and their relevance to combating cybercrimes in Malaysia.
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In 1991, Malaysia Vision 2020 by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was presented during the Sixth Malaysia Plan. Malaysia Vision 2020 was the prime minister’s vision for Malaysia to become a developed nation by 2020, which included his thoughts on how the nation can achieve this goal by meeting nine specific objectives These nine objectives as he pointed out in his vision were to establish the following:

  • 1.

    United Malaysian nation

  • 2.

    Secure and developed Malaysian Society

  • 3.

    Mature democratic society

  • 4.

    Fully moral and ethical society

  • 5.

    Matured liberal and tolerant society

  • 6.

    Scientific and progressive society, a society that is innovative and forward looking, one that is not only a consumer of technology but also a contributor to the scientific and technological civilisation of the future

  • 7.

    Fully caring society and caring culture

  • 8.

    Economically just society

  • 9.

    Prosperous society, with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.

Malaysia Vision 2020 catapulted initiatives to support Prime Minister Mahathir agenda, one of these listed as objective six: to establish a scientific and progressive society. Thus, Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia was launched in 1996 and the first cyber laws of Malaysia were introduced: Computer Crimes Act 1997, Telemedicine Act 1997, Copyright (Amendment) Act 1997, and Digital Signature Act 1997. Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 followed one year later and then: Payment Systems Act 2003, Electronic Commerce Act 2006, and Personal Data Protection Act 2010. The foundation established by these early cyber laws were to prepare the nation to embark on innovations and protect Malaysians using new innovations. The laws most relevant to current cybercrimes experienced in Malaysia will be discussed further in the subsequent section.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Intrusion: Wrongfully accessing a computer’s system or network.

Malicious Code: Computer code often used by hackers to infiltrate a computer to cause damage and security vulnerabilities.

Fraud: The act of deceiving for personal monetary gain.

Cyberattack: The act of hackers to disrupt or damage a computer network or system.

Cybercrimes: Criminal activities using the internet as a vehicle to commit the crime.

Spam: Messages sent via the internet often unimportant with the intent to advertise, induce malware and phishing programs.

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