Wong Ong Hua, 46, and Ling Yang Ching, 32, operated through a Malaysian firm called SEA Gamer Mall. Their targets ranged from from videogame developers to pro-democracy activists.
They were arrested on 14 September in Malaysia and will be extradited to the USA.
Tycoon Vincent Tan is seeking to distance his daughters from the controversy surrounding online game store SEA Gamer Mall Sdn Bhd (SEAGM), after two of the company’s top executives were charged over an international hacking scandal.
However, he has come to the defence of SEAGM chief executive officer Wong Ong Hua and chief product officer Ling Yang Ching, saying that they did not have the skills to pull off the crimes they are accused of.
In a statement today, Tan (above) said his daughters, Nerine and Chryseis Tan, were only nominal directors and had quit the company before the incident.
“At all times, my daughters had no involvement whatsoever in the running of the company. They were just my nominees on the board of SEAGM. Both Nerine and Chryseis have in fact already resigned before this incident,” he said.
SEAGM’s Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) file still lists the sisters as directors. The document contains a summary of the company’s 2019 financial report which was tabled on June 30 this year.
Meanwhile, regarding Wong and Ling, Tan said: “Neither SEAGM nor the two executives possess the expertise or tools in computer intrusions and hacking.
“The two SEAGM executives maintain their innocence and have appointed Malaysian legal counsel to represent them,” he added.
Tan said he had been a passive investor in the company for 13 years, and that he “may choose to divest when the time is right”.
His company, Berjaya Group, does not have any interest in the gaming firm, he said.
SEAGM’s website is an online store selling “top-up cards” for popular online games, digital gift cards and prepaid mobile credits.
On its website, it claims to have one million registered users and 350,000 active users monthly.
Company records show it made RM386.4 million in revenue and RM11.6 million in profit in 2019.
Malaysia agrees to extradite 2 hacking suspects to US
FMT Reporters -September 17, 2020 8:24 PM
PETALING JAYA: The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has sent an application to extradite two suspects involved in a wide-ranging hacking effort that encompassed targets from videogame developers to pro-democracy activists.
Bukit Aman, in a statement today, said the extradition request was sent on Sept 3.
“The Attorney-General’s Chambers has agreed to the application,” said Bukit Aman CID director Huzir Mohamed.
He said the application is in line with Extradition Act 1992, relating to the extradition of fugitive criminals.
The US on Wednesday had said it has charged five Chinese residents and two Malaysian businessmen involved in the hacking.
Huzir said the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court had issued a provisional warrant of arrest for the two suspects on Sept 11.
He added on Sept 14, at 8.45am, police and Interpol arrested the two Malaysian men who worked as computer analysts.
2 Malaysians among 7 charged by US over China hacking probe
Reuters -September 17, 2020 7:44 A
WASHINGTON: The US Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Wednesday it has charged five Chinese residents and two Malaysian businessmen in a wide-ranging hacking effort that encompassed targets from videogames to pro-democracy activists.
Federal prosecutors said the Chinese nationals had been charged with hacking more than 100 companies in the United States and abroad, including software development companies, computer manufacturers, telecommunications providers, social media companies, gaming firms, nonprofits, universities, think-tanks as well as foreign governments and politicians and civil society figures in Hong Kong.
US officials stopped short of alleging the hackers were working on behalf of Beijing, but in a statement Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen expressed exasperation with Chinese authorities, saying they were – at the very least – turning a blind eye to cyber-espionage.
“We know the Chinese authorities to be at least as able as the law enforcement authorities here and in likeminded states to enforce laws against computer intrusions,” Rosen said. “But they choose not to.”
He further alleged that one of the Chinese defendants had boasted to a colleague that he was “very close” to China’s Ministry of State Security and would be protected “unless something very big happens.”
“No responsible government knowingly shelters cyber criminals that target victims worldwide in acts of rank theft,” Rosen said.
Along with the alleged hackers, US prosecutors also indicted two Malaysian businessmen, Wong Ong Hua, 46, and Ling Yang Ching, 32, who were charged with conspiring with two of the digital spies to profit from computer intrusions targeting videogame companies in the United States, France, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
The DoJ said the pair operated through a Malaysian firm called SEA Gamer Mall. Messages left with the company were not immediately returned. Messages sent to email addresses allegedly maintained by the hackers also received no immediate response.
US Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said yesterday that the Malaysian defendants were in custody but were likely to fight extradition.
WASHINGTON, Sept 17 — The US Justice Department on Wednesday announced charges against five Chinese nationals and two Malaysians who ran global hacking operations for at least six years to steal identities and video game technology, plant ransomware, and spy on Hong Kong activists.
Three of the Chinese suspects operated out of Chengdu 404, a Sichuan-based company that purported to offer network security services for other businesses.
They hacked the computers of hundreds of companies and organizers around the world to collect identities, hijack systems for ransom, and remotely use thousands of computers to mine for cryptocurrency like bitcoin.
Two other Chinese nationals who formerly worked for Chengdu 404, and the two Malaysians, were indicted for hacking into major gaming companies to steal their secrets and “gaming artifacts,” likely tradable in-game chits and credits, and resell them.
Together the seven were long recognised by cybersecurity experts as the “APT41” hacking organisation, identified by their shared tools and techniques.
The five Chinese remain at large but the two Malaysians were arrested in Malaysia on Monday and the United States is seeking their extradition. — AFP