Foreigners use rogue telecom stations to spread scams

By Luu Quy   April 10, 2024 | 04:54 pm PT
Foreigners use rogue telecom stations to spread scams
Authorities capture a person using rogue BTS in Hanoi, April 5, 2024. Photo courtesy of the Authority of Radio Frequency Management
Foreigners are using base transceiver stations (BTS) mounted on cars to spread spam messages and scams, the Authority of Radio Frequency Management announced.

The Authority said Tuesday that a foreigner, whose nationality has not been revealed, was arrested while using a BTS device to illegally gain access to telecommunications networks on April 5.

The device was mounted on a car, which was constantly moving to avoid detection. When authorities apprehended the culprits, the Vietnamese driver and his foreigner accomplice were broadcasting messages for false advertisements and scams.

The use of BTS for dubious purposes has been an issue in Vietnam for several years, but it only came to the limelight last year. Bad actors make use of weak security measures on 2G networks to perform an attack, disrupting the connection between phones and legitimate service providers’ BTS.

Users may receive messages from attackers that entice them into installing malicious software that could lead to having their data stolen.

Since the beginning of this year, Hanoi has found three cases of people using rogue BTS to spread scam messages. This February in Ho Chi Minh City, authorities also uncovered one case in which a BTS had been mounted on a motorbike for nefarious purposes.

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