Personal Data of Millions of Malaysians, Sold for Bitcoins

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Last Thursday, Lowyat reported news of “one of the biggest data breaches ever in Malaysian history” – compromising millions of Malaysians’ privacy.

The article was taken down temporarily, by request of MCMC, but it is now back up. MCMC has since released a press statement, announcing that an investigation is underway. According to a tip off on Lowyat forums, someone has been making an undisclosed amount in Bitcoins, from selling databases of personal details.

This includes, but is not limited to,, the Malaysian Medical Council, the Malaysian Medical Association, Academy of Medicine Malaysia, the Malaysian Housing Loan Applications, the Malaysian Dental Association and the National Specialist Register of Malaysia.

The biggest damage though comes from a huge list of Malaysian Telcos, including Altel, Celcom, DiGi, Enabling Asia, Friendimobile, Maxis, MerchantTradeAsia, PLDT, RedTone, TuneTalk, Umobile and XOX.

This includes almost 17 million rows of customer information – including the candidate’s name, login name, hashed passwords, email ID, nationality, address and handphone number.

It should be noted that this breach seems to have taken place around 2012-2015 and also includes non-Malaysian residents.

Leaked data from the Malaysian Medical Association, consists of over 20,000 records. The data from the Malaysian Medical Council, however, is close to 62,000 records – including personal details, IC numbers, home and operating addresses, as well as mobile numbers. The MMC are responsible for overseeing the registration of all local Medical Practitioners.

The worst thing about the massive data breach – over 50 million records from various telcos are compromised. The data sold includes customer names, billing addresses, mobile numbers, sim card numbers, IMSI numbers, handset models as well as IC numbers of customers.

In times like this, it seems like “data is the new currency of the realm“. The much publicised Equifax data breach that happened recently in the States exposed the private information of 145.5 million Americans – ranging from credit reports, personal identification numbers and even credit card details. Extra vigilance, and public awareness are your two best defences right now.

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