Hackers targeting essential Vietnamese institutions: police

By Khuong Nha   April 4, 2024 | 05:11 pm PT
Hackers targeting essential Vietnamese institutions: police
An error message is shown while doing online transactions on the hacked site of securities brokerage VNDirect on March 27, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Tu
Hackers are increasingly targeting essential institutions in Vietnam, including power companies, banks and the stock market, the public security ministry's cybersecurity department has announced.

The Vietnam Information Security Association said the application of cyber technologies has brought many benefits, but it has also made businesses and institutions prime targets for hackers from both inside and outside of Vietnam. The scales of such attacks are getting larger, aiming at larger important businesses and institutions such power companies, banks, stock markets, telecommunications providers, petroleum companies and even medical infrastructure networks.

The Department of Cybersecurity and Prevention of Crime using High Technology, under the Ministry of Public Security, said cybersecurity attacks are becoming more complex even while the methods of such attacks typically share similarities. Such attacks can disrupt entire operations and transactions, and lead to the theft of sensitive information that is not easily recoverable, according to the department.

Police said that in the coming times, hackers will continue to launch attacks aiming at economic, financial and energy institutions. The attacks can be complex, and malicious codes might have already been embedded within systems a long time ago, they added.

The association said one of the weaknesses of the majority of information systems is the lack of awareness of the importance of cybersecurity, as well as low capabilities to respond to and deal with issues once problems arise. Several important information systems have not been managed in a coordinated manner, and many are not monitored or evaluated regularly, leading to many vulnerabilities.

Organizations and businesses should check and evaluate their information system and inform authorities when problems arise, the association recommended. Organizations should also not pay ransom to hackers, "to prevent bad precedents," it added.

Previously on March 24, securities brokerage VNDirect received a cyberattack from an international organization which encrypted all its data and crippled the institution for several days. On April 2, the PetroVietnam Oil corporation (PVOil) said its data had also been encrypted, paralyzing its information system.

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