The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) is looking to recruit hackers as a new military asset to strengthen the country’s defense system, according to Defense Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
He was quoted by Berita Harian saying the team will focus on non-traditional threats such as cyber-attacks, digital threats and electromagnetic defense, which he added has become the norm, for the armed forces.
In fact, many analysts predict that the battles or clashes will involve more tech such as ‘unmanned drones’ and digitally controlled assets. All of this is the basis for us to look seriously at the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI), ‘big data’ and digitization in the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) and MAF.Defense Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin
Future wars will only be fought on systems, he said, which is why they have to study to not miss out on other countries, especially Singapore.
He said this at a press conference after the Launch of the Defense White Paper Mid-Term Review.
It can also deter smugglers
The Defense Minister also said the goal of establishing such a team can also strengthen the control and monitoring system in the country’s waters and borders from smuggling threats.
We are neighbors with many countries and we have to see drones coming in. We understand now that smugglers use drones, and they want to know where we are, so they will not land around that area. That’s why they can still smuggle because they have surveillance. So the question is how can we disable their drones so that we can be more effective.Defense Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin
MAF taking heed from Pentagon’s recent attack
Mohamed Khaled said that preparation is important after the Pentagon’s recent hacking and file theft incident that happened in the last quarter of last year.
It was reported that more than 600,000 emails and more than 2,500 government organizations were affected.
Just last month, another almost identical incident was also reported involving data related to the US military. This kind of incident is not new. In fact, it will continue to happen.Defense Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin
Defense Minstry focusing on the future
In the meantime, he said, the preparation and development of the Future Force, such as the policies or strategic plans that support it must be a major goal in the Defense White Paper.
However, he said, the interpretation of the Future Force must be understood more broadly, strategically, and with context, where it does not automatically mean that they need more members or to acquire more assets.
Hacking and cyber attacks by ‘hacktivist’ operations or activities might have a big impact on the security and defense of a country. It is even capable of paralyzing economic activities, government administration, medical and transport systems.Defense Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin