PETALING JAYA: A “cybersecurity incident” which struck the Labuan Financial Services Authority’s (Labuan FSA) online systems at the end of last month is believed to be the work of hackers who have demanded a ransom, according to a source.
The source said that Labuan FSA’s IT system contains sensitive and confidential data relating to offshore companies, trusts, foundations, insurance and banking information, and holds details of shareholders, funders, trustees and beneficiaries of corporations registered in the tax haven.
Earlier today, Labuan FSA announced that it had experienced a cybersecurity incident which affected its online systems on April 27. It said it is working to ascertain the full impact of the incident to its systems and has temporarily taken certain operational systems offline to prevent exposure to further risks.
A statutory body under the finance ministry, Labuan FSA acts as the central regulatory, supervisory and enforcement authority of the international business and financial services industry in Labuan.
The highly-placed source told FMT that the alleged hacking incident was revealed during a meeting held between the Labuan FSA director-general and representatives of various stakeholders last week.
Meanwhile, a Labuan banker said the “incident” had forced banks to do their reporting manually.
The outage is also preventing companies from registering quickly, he added.
“These are foreign companies bringing in RM900 million to RM1 billion in taxes to the country. Delays will cost money. The local Labuan economy will also be impacted when companies are unable to set up shop,” he said.
When contacted, a finance ministry spokesman said Labuan FSA had taken steps to minimise disruption to the financial and business services industry.
FMT has reached out to Labuan FSA director-general Nik Mohamed Din Nik Musa for comment.