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Malaysian Armed Forces to Set Up Cyber Electromagnetic Command

KUALA LUMPUR: Cyber warfare is to be a key component of the “future force” of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF), with a new command centre being set up to take charge of cyber defence operations. A highly-placed military official said the new Cyber Electromagnetic Command would oversee all cyber operations, taking over responsibility from the Malaysian Army.

The official, who cannot be named, told FMT that cyber security is being taken seriously and will be a key component of the military’s “future force”.

“The cyber command’s main duties will be to neutralise external cyber threats, particularly those targeting strategic assets,” the official told FMT.

“A new regiment comprising cyber specialists will be set up to drive the Cyber Command and its operations. Funds will be needed for training and infrastructure, but this is necessary. In this day and age, cybersecurity is priceless.”

Cyber Command would work with the National Cyber Security Agency, which comes under the purview of the National Security Council, to coordinate efforts to actively prevent cyber attacks against the country.

It is understood that the Cyber Command is included as part of a versatile and highly capable “future force” which will operate and protect the nation’s interest on land, at sea, in the air and in cyberspace.

Details of the future force are believed to be contained in a defence White Paper being drafted by the ministry, which will chart the future of the Armed Forces. The White Paper is expected to be tabled at the Dewan Rakyat this year.

“Countries everywhere around the world face cyber threats on a daily basis and Malaysia is no exception,” the military source said.

External threats, including espionage, sabotage and information warfare activities, come from criminal elements and also state-backed entities.

The cyber command will also look into boosting offensive and defensive capabilities and electronic warfare, in which the electromagnetic spectrum – which includes radio, infrared or radar – will be used for defensive or offensive purposes.

Defensive use of electronic warfare would involve protection of national assets from electronic attacks aimed at disrupting, denying or deceiving communications signals.

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