Foreign hackers steal big bucks from big banks in Vietnam

By Pham Du   June 5, 2022 | 12:02 am PT
Foreign hackers steal big bucks from big banks in Vietnam
Vietnamese police recently arrested a Taiwanese suspect involved in an operation that hacked major banks. Illustration photo by Image by TheDigitalWay from Pixabay
Foreign cyber criminals have infiltrated the server systems of several large Vietnamese banks and stolen a lot of money from customers, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Ministry spokesman and chief of office, Lieutenant General To An Xo, said Saturday that the hackers were mainly Taiwanese. They checked for security holes and launched "privilege escalation" attacks to access server systems of the banks and withdraw money from customer accounts.

To deal with this situation, the ministry has requested the banks to coordinate with its agencies to patch security holes in their server management system.

At the moment, the police have arrested a Taiwanese suspect and an investigation is ongoing.

Lieutenant General Xo said that cyber crimes and property obtained by fraud were escalating. In the first five months of 2022, the Ministry of Public Security detected and handled 840 cases related to online fraud (up 42 percent compared to the last six months of 2021); and prosecuted 185 people in 255 cases.

Some common methods and tricks used by scammers include taking advantage of the high demand for jobs after the Covid-19 pandemic. They advertise remote jobs with minimal effort and attractive remuneration but require applicants to pay a brokerage fee in advance. Then they disappear with the money.

Scammers also use VoIP services to impersonate officers in law enforcement agencies (police, prosecutors, courts) to call people and tell them that they are involved in a pending case and ask them to transfer a large amount of money to the account they provide for "investigation". Many unwitting, unaware and gullible people have transferred the money, Xo said.

"They can also scam through multi-level marketing businesses or through trading platforms such as stock exchanges, gold, foreign currencies, real estate, acting as a focal point for foreign exchanges to entice customers to open trading accounts there, then expropriate the investment money," he said.

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