Monday, September 10, 2012

MyKad, passport data at risk

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 11, 2012):Outsourcing the production of MyKads and passports to another country could affect the country's security if there is a leakage of confidential information, a daily publication reported yesterday.
Additionally, a weak security system may further expose MyKad and passport holders involved, resulting in the possibility of the information being abused by irresponsible people.
Utusan Malaysia said the tender for making the smartcards since the start of this year was awarded to a foreign company which is unable to implement several of the security features in the MyKads and passports of Malaysian citizens.
Quoting an unnamed source, the daily reported that the Chip Implementation System, allegedly developed from China, does not have a complete suite of security applications such as the automated teller machine, PKI and MEPS applications, which shows the government's failure in meeting its transformation agenda, the source claimed.
"Each of these applications has its own safety features. If there are no such features in the application, surely the data can be easily accessed by irresponsible parties.
"In fact, the raw material used comes from unknown suppliers. This is a highly risky situation as indirectly, the country's secrets are exposed to foreigners," the source told the daily.
On Saturday, Utusan revealed that the government might face some RM300 million in losses in five years when a company tasked to produce the MyKad beginning this year was suspected of using a data system which does not meet the required specifications.
The company, which is reportedly under investigation, was said to be capable of providing only five out of eight safety features in the Malaysian MyKad and passport.
The source said the system should be controlled by the National Registration Department, the only authority with jurisdiction over the registration records of all Malaysians.
"However, the public is concerned that the data contained in MyKad is allegedly easy to change using tools and technology that can be bought from computer stores.
"This weakness can result in a stolen MyKad becoming easy to be sold," the source claimed.
In this regard, the source suggested for the government to act immediately to solve the problem such as by providing the facility to check the validity status of a MyKad online.

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