Fahmi To Meet With Meta To Tackle WhatsApp Scammers Hijacking Accounts

The Minister said he received complaints from several individuals about their WhatsApp accounts being ‘stolen’ by irresponsible parties.
(Credit: Malay Mail)

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Minister of Communications and Digital, Fahmi Fadzil, announced his intention to convene a meeting with Meta, next week to address the escalating issue of scammers seizing control of WhatsApp accounts.

Fahmi expressed deep concern over this emerging trend, revealing that he has personally received complaints from individuals whose WhatsApp accounts were illicitly accessed by irresponsible parties, according to Bernama.

In response to these complaints, CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) issued a warning regarding the potential dangers of criminals taking over WhatsApp accounts. Fahmi stressed the need to assess the adequacy and susceptibility of current security measures to exploitation by criminals in collaboration with Meta.

Highlighting the urgency of the situation, Fahmi pointed out similar incidents of account takeover on the Telegram app. Looking ahead to the coming year, Fahmi disclosed that CSM plans to enhance the Anti-Scam Roadshow programme, aiming to heighten public awareness about cybersecurity issues and preventive measures against falling victim to online scams.

Fahmi acknowledged the dynamic nature of scams, stating that as the government successfully combats one form of scam, perpetrators adapt and shift to different tactics. He stressed the necessity for continuous education and awareness to address new forms of scams over time.

At the roadshow, Fahmi reported that the Cyber999 Cyber Incident Response Centre, managed by CSM, recorded online fraud as the most frequently reported cybersecurity incident. Out of the 5,480 incidents reported from January to November 2023, 63% (3,447 incidents) were related to online fraud.

While acknowledging the various measures taken to enhance cybersecurity, Fahmi cautioned that achieving 100% security or complete immunity from cyber threats and attacks remains elusive for Malaysia, echoing the global challenge faced by all nations in the realm of cybersecurity.

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