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Malaysian ‘White Hat’ warns of AI powered attacks, launches international hub with MDEC

AvantiKumar | April 24, 2018
Malaysia’s international cybersecurity hub initiative - AsiaCyberX - is supported by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). MDEC is also partnering with LGMS to roll out a 12-month MDEC Cybersecurity Development Programme.

CWM - LGMS-MDEC lead picture

Photo - LGMS chief executive officer Fong Choong Fook exchanging documents with MDEC director (enabling ecosystem) Wan Murdani Mohamad. Looking on are Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (KKMM) deputy minister Dato' Sri Jailani Johari (centre) and ACE Group advisor Tan Sri Ting Chew Peh.

 

  The age of digital has keenly witnessed how much disruptive technology has revolutionised the global economic landscape.

Among the digital revolution, machines are increasingly promising to change the breadth and scale of business possibilities. Yet among them all, one phenomena - Artificial Intelligence (AI) - promises to supercharge almost every industry vertical it touches.

According to a recent Accenture report, by 2035 AI technologies have the potential to increase productivity 40% or more. This will in turn represent an increase in economic growth at an average of 1.7% across 16 industries.

Yet with such unprecedented promise comes with it the down side as well. As with all things digital, AI is merely a tool. Manipulated by the wrong hands, AI could just as easily cause disaster and wreak havoc as much as it can bring benefit.

AI-powered attacks

"Cybercriminals who once plied their trade with impunity are today coming under immense pressure from the increased efforts of not only security companies, but even entire governments. They in turn have also evolved and are now turning towards AI to support their illegal activities," said Fong Choong Fook, CEO of Malaysia's leading cybersecurity company LGMS (pic below).

Fong - LGMS

Fong commented that AI systems were increasingly becoming used to augment cyberattacks against targets, of the most favoured are financial institutions. However, the effects are potentially more far reaching than that.

True enough, a new report by a panel of 26 cybersecurity experts involved in the academic, industry and the charitable sectors, describe AI as a "dual use technology" that has the potential to affect both civilian and military assets with a terror that might surpass Nuclear power.

"This fact is actually based on solid ground and what we most urgently need to do is to take ownership of any potential problems now. The choices we make must include a call-to-action for all security practitioners across the globe to negate ill effect on a broad front," said Fong, a 20-year cybersecurity veteran and who has advised and trained multiple government bodies and multinational companies throughout the Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, and Africa regions.

He added that there is much to do to understand the right balance of openness in AI, including the development of more advanced technical and regulatory measures to formally verifying the robustness of systems being developed to circumvent future problems.

International cybersecurity hub

Fong was speaking to Computerworld Malaysia on the side-lines of the launch of the Asia Cybersecurity Exchange (AsiaCyberX), a platform designed to make Malaysia one of the world's major cybersecurity hubs.

Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia (KKMM) Dato' Sri Jailani Johari had recently officiated the launch of AsiaCyberX (pic below)

 

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