Vietnam emerged as favorite target for hackers

Published: 01/06/2011 05:00



With information unsafe and the increasingly high number of computing attacks, Vietnam is in danger of becoming a big zombie computer nest in the world.

On May 12, Symantec released the global security threat report 2010, which showed that Vietnam has been put at a higher level of information security risk in comparison with the 2009’s ranking. In the 2010’s report, Vietnam ranks the 19th, or one grade higher in terms of security threat in comparison with 2009.

In terms of malware threat, Vietnam ranks the 12th in the 2010’s report, while it was on the 24th in the last year’s report. In terms of the phishing threat caused when the server systems are exploited, Vietnam ranks the 33rd (it was the 42nd in 2009). In terms of the threat of being infected with hackers’ control software, Vietnam ranks the 45th (51st). Meanwhile, in terms of Spam Zombies, the ranking remains the same at the 10th.

Vu Quoc Khanh, Director of the Center for Computer Emergency Response Team of the Ministry of Information and Communication, said that it is now still early to say if the ranking by Symantec is reliable, but he, to some extend, thinks that the ranking is reasonable.

He said that Vietnam is the country which has been witnessing a very rapid development of information technology, including in terms of the number of computers (laptop, desktop, tablet PCs, netbooks), smartphones and Internet users.

Khanh said individual users still do not have the awareness of ensuring information security: they do not have the habit of spending money to purchase anti-virus software products, and do not know how to update databases.

More importantly, most of computer users think that they need to “live together” with viruses and believe that this does not affect anyone. They do not understand that with Internet connection, computers can easily spread out viruses and create zombie computer networks, which serve as the opportunities for hackers to organize DDoS (Denial of Service) attacks.

“With the current information technology development speed, if there is no improvement in people’s awareness of the copyrighted software, it may happen that Vietnam one day would become a big zombie computer nest in the world,” Khanh said.

Nguyen Minh Duc, Director of BKIS, the Bach Khoa Internet Security, also said that the severity of information security in Vietnam in 2010 is higher than in 2009, which can be seen in the number of computers infected with viruses and the number of attacked servers. “By the end of May 2011, 200 attacks to websites had been reported, which is equal to 1/5 of the total number of cases in the whole year 2010. Hackers have developed many more kinds of malware and used more sophisticated attack modes, while the knowledge of people has not been developed accordingly.

Vietnam to enact information safety law in 2014

It is a growing tendency among hackers that they entice people to install malicious software by forging social networks like Yahoo or Facebook. Therefore, Duc said that computer users need to be very cautious when receiving or exchanging information via emails or messengers. They should not click any information until they learn about that.

“Users nowadays easily provide usernames and passwords to others, which should be seen as a bad habit that needs to be removed,” Duc said.

Also, the installing of anti-virus software, firewalls and data updating needs to be done regularly in order to prevent attack risks.

The Ministry of Information and Communication is compiling the draft information safety law, planning to submit to the National Assembly by 2014. Once a legal framework is set up, a lot of problems relating to the information security will be settled to the every root.


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