Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Malaysian Insider Spyware Spy Where?

Can You See It, Researchers say...I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE was the first to highlight a subject of spyware supposedly used for covert activities.

Syabas to Tony Yew.

The Malaysian Insider had exploited and took it upon itself to report with a highly derisory headline to exclaim and accuse "Malaysia uses spyware against own citizens, NYT reports".

Without any basis and covering their asses with "NYT reports".

It immediately elicited a response from MCMC as reported in The Mole quoting Bernama, "MCMC investigates The Malaysian Insider for spyware reports" and rightly so.

The Malaysian Insider should get its act together and readers of TMI are advised to treat their reports with caution as to the veracity of their reports especially from reporter Boo Su Lyn.

That The Malaysian Insider has been criticised for lacking in crediblity has been frequently commented by many including yours truly.

Sensationalising to attract and boost readership is one thing, fair and accurate reporting is another.

I won't speculate on how TMI financially exists other than relying on advertisers and readership is a vital factor to determine that part for its income. Maybe TMI like its more established anti-establishment and pro-opposition counterpart, Malaysiakini, should introduce subscription based reading format to boost its income.

If it were to do so, I will bet with anyone TMI would fold up earlier than the expected election date. Then again, Malaysiakini has other fundings from George Soros linked institutions to finance its various operations.

Coming back to the subject at hand and following this link from The Mole report led me to this website by the owner's comment in the Citizen Lab report.

The site's latest post, aptly titled "Malaysian government using spyware against citizens? No, not really", is the most technically comprehensive with backing facts to rebut TMI but also takes a dig at reporter Booo. And by extension Lim Kit Siang for carrying the TMI report.

Here are the facts as extracted from "Malaysian government using spyware against citizens? No, not really",
Facts About FinFisher & FinSpy in Malaysia

Fact 1: Citizen Lab reported that they found 33 servers in 25 countries.

Fact 2: By their own admission they admit the list is possibly incomplete “due to the large diversity of ports used by FinSpy servers, as well as other efforts at concealment”

Fact 3: Citizen Labs goes on to clearly disclaim that “ a discovery of a FinSpy command and control server in a given country is not a sufficient indicator to conclude the use of FinFisher by that country’s law enforcement or intelligence agencies. In some cases, servers were found running on facilities provided by commercial hosting providers that could have been purchased by actors from any country”

Fact 4: The initial NYT report that found the first 10 servers–found them hosted on Amazon EC2 instances. Instances even I can procure with a credit card.

Fact 5: The Malaysian IP (though not published in full) belongs to a company called GPL host.

Fact 6: GPL Host has a partnership with TM in Malaysia for their hosting (which explains the Malaysian IP).

Fact 7: Eight FinSpy servers out of the 33 found were hosted by GPL Host. Only one of these servers was from Malaysia

Fact 8: The Malaysian IP is in the 117.121.240.X range. The other 7 FinSpy servers exist in nearby ranges, and are hosted in the US, Singapore and Australia. All of the servers in the 117.121.X.X range are hosted by GPLHost.

Fact 9: GPL Host is a Hosting company, which means anyone with a credit card can procure a server within their IP range for use. (which includes their Malaysian IP range).

Fact 10: Just to reiterate, Citizen Lab (who’ve done extensive research here) claim “in some cases, servers were found running on facilities provided by commercial hosting providers that could be purchased by actors from any country“. These include commercial hosting providers just like GPLHost.
The Malaysian Insider shames Malaysia, not by that particular and other Malaysia bashing report.

It shames Malaysia, being a Malaysian outfit, by not having an iota of crediblity coupled with wild irresponsible reporting.

But that is the stock in trade of The Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini, unabashed Malaysia bashing, more as a means for financial resource rather than sensible and accurate reporting.

No comments: