Cyberattacks threaten government portals as more security weak spots detected

By Phan Nghia   December 27, 2019 | 07:00 pm PT
Cyberattacks threaten government portals as more security weak spots detected
A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. Photo by Reuters/Kacper Pempel.
With 2,647 security weak spots, 148 Vietnamese governmental portals are vulnerable to online security breach, according to Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Center.

Three major security issues face the country’s official portals.

Upon examination, 89 percent of portals could not secrete the address of network administrators, 69 percent could list and track user information, and 62 percent had sensitive information transferred via unsecured channels, said Nguyen Huu Nguyen, vice director of the center, during a recent cyberattack drill in Hanoi.

Vietnam’s government portals are especially vulnerable, considering the country’s high rate of cyberattacks. Within two weeks from October 20 to November 17, 744 cyberattacks were recorded, including 428 malware attacks, 254 phishing scams and 62 website defacements, which can lead to information breach and system interference.

It is advisable that portal administrators frequently update servers, replace unsupported devices, implement web application firewalls while closely monitoring systems, said Nguyen.

Speaking at the drill, Nguyen Thanh Hung, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, stressed the importance of protection against cyberattacks in building an efficient e-government, with 17 of 23 ministries and all 63 provinces having launched their own web portals.

Nguyen Trong Duong, deputy director of the Authority of Information Security, suggested investing more in training the IT labour force while upgrading technology.

Earlier this month, the Vietnamese government joined Microsoft’s Government Security Program to strengthen cybersecurity.

It was preceded by a major malware attack hitting 400,000 IP addresses across Vietnam in October with possible financial and political aims.

The first nine months of 2019 recorded a total of 4,625 cyberattacks, down 43.8 percent from the same period in 2018.

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