Rigged devices not used for information transfer, says Muhyiddin

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador (left) say steps were taken to prevent leaks. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Muhyiddin Yassin today said that encryption devices allegedly rigged by the CIA had not been used to transfer sensitive information.

The home minister also assured the public that steps were taken to prevent information from being leaked.

“The privacy control will continue to be implemented and I am told that the use of the Crypto AG is not new, but (from) a long time ago,” he said, referring to the Swiss manufacturer, which was owned by the US Central Intelligence Agency.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that Malaysia was among 120 countries which bought rigged encryption devices from the now-defunct Crypto AG. The report did not state when Malaysia bought the devices or whether they are still being used.

The devices allowed the CIA to eavesdrop on secure communications between government officials.

Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador said the police had used Crypto AG devices for “short-term communication operations” and not for ‘”hyper sensitive” matters.

“We use the technology, we do not use it for long-term operations or to transfer information.”

On a separate matter, Muhyiddin warned that stern action will be taken against a group of foreign traders in Batu Caves who chased away immigration officers, saying their actions not only affected national security but also disrupted businesses of local traders.

He said it was clear that the traders did not respect the nation’s laws and authorities.

Muhyiddin went on to praise the immigration officers involved for not reacting to such provocation.

“The officers acted wisely by calling off the operation to avoid any untoward incident,” Bernama quoted him as saying.

Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the department would be filing a police report over the incident.