KUALA LUMPUR: THE holder of the mysterious email account at the centre of investigations into the massive leak of data involving more than 46 million mobile phone numbers is an employee of a company managing the Public Cellular Blocking Service (PCBS).
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said although the identity of the email account holder had yet to be determined, investigators believed the holder was an employee of Nuemera Sdn Bhd, which handles the PCBS system for the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
“We are getting closer to identifying the perpetrator as we have narrowed down the scope of the investigation,” he told the New Straits Times.
Fuzi said the key to concluding the investigation lay in identifying the email account owner.
“We have asked for MCMC’s help to identify the account owner.”
Prior to this, the authorities had said the data was possibly taken from information sent by the PCBS provider to MCMC. No mention, however, was made about how the data was stolen and by whom.
This is the first time any authority, whether police or MCMC, had mentioned a Nuemera employee as the possible culprit.
PCBS is a service introduced in 2014 to block lost or stolen mobile phones using its unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.
Sources said, however, investigations could be stalled should MCMC fail to identify the holder of the email account.
As such, a source said police would interview Nuemera employees to see if the culprit could be identified that way.
This, he said, was a back-up plan and one that would run in tandem with efforts by MCMC to trace the owner of the email account.
Checks on Nuemera showed that the company, established in 2005, is active, according to the Companies Commission of Malaysia.
According to its website, the company had engaged with the United Kingdom Home Office and had gathered a multi-disciplinary team of system engineers, network integrators, call centre operators, regulatory and law enforcement specialists.
This followed allegations that Nuemera was no longer active but was still being paid by MCMC for handling PCBS.
Senior officers at MCMC, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the commission had held several discussions with Nuemera over the past few months, although they declined to mention what these discussions were about.
Attempts to contact Nuemera for comment proved futile, but the company had been quoted as declining to comment on investigations.
Last month, online forum Lowyat.net reported it had received information that someone was trying to sell huge databases of personal information.
The databases comprised mobile phone numbers, identification card numbers, home addresses, IMEI and SIM card data of 46.2 million customers of at least 12 Malaysian mobile phone operators.
The databases were believed to contain private information of more than 80,000 individuals, leaked from records of the Malaysian Medical Council, the Malaysian Medical Association and the Malaysian Dental Association.
In Cyberjaya, Bernama reported that MCMC chief operating officer Datuk Dr Mazlan Ismail urged people to refrain from speculating on investigations.
“The investigation is almost completed. But to media portals reporting on this issue, I would like to advise, before you speculate, make sure your information is correct. Do not speculate unnecessarily, or be prepared for actions from MCMC,” he said after launching the Research Collaboration Seminar here yesterday.