cryptominers

Hijacking hardware in stealth mode

I was featured by The Star in their article “Hijacking hardware in stealth mode“. I was asked to comment about malicious cryptomining Malaysia.

Under our law, malicious cryptominers can be punished with the Computer Crimes Act 1997, says Bar Council information technology and cyberlaw committee deputy chairman Foong Cheng Leong.

“It can be considered unauthorised access to computer material or unauthorised modification to computer material,” he adds.

If found guilty for unauthorised access, the cybercriminal can face up to a RM50,000 fine, a five-year jail term or both.

At present, digital currencies such as bitcoin are not recognised as legal tender in Malaysia.

But cryptocurrency exchangers are required to report their activities to Bank Negara.

This reporting obligation, the central bank was reported as saying, is the first step in making activities in the cryptocurrency business more transparent.

Foong says while it is not recognised as legal tender, it doesn’t mean cryptocurrency is illegal.

“You can still use digital currencies to purchase things. It is up to the buyer and seller,” he adds.

However, he points out that cryptocurrency may also be misused, particularly in the black market for illegal purposes like money laundering, purchase of drugs and other undesirable items, to avoid detection.

“I foresee more crimes and disputes may arise from there,” Foong says.

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