Apple thanks reformed Vietnamese hacker for reporting security issue

By Luu Quy   June 18, 2022 | 08:30 pm PT
Apple thanks reformed Vietnamese hacker for reporting security issue
Ngo Minh Hieu, also known as Hieu PC. Photo obtained from Hieu's Facebook account
Reformed Vietnamese hacker Hieu PC has been acknowledged and thanked by tech giant Apple for reporting potential security issues in its web servers.

Ngo Minh Hieu is one of 43 people listed in Apple's web server security acknowledgements last month. "Credits are added quarterly, after the issue has been identified and addressed," Apple said.

Hieu said the security issue wasn't too severe, but in such large systems, "a small bug could affect billions of users if it's exploited". He said he regularly runs tools to scan and search for security issues on the systems of large tech corporations.

This is the first time Hieu has been publicly acknowledged as a white hat hacker.

In the 2010s, Hieu PC was a notorious hacker in the U.S. for selling personal data to several crime rings. He was arrested in 2013, spent seven years in jail and was released early after helping law enforcement investigate several cyberattacks.

Hieu returned to Vietnam in 2020 and became an engineer with the National Cyber Security Center under the Cyber Security Department of the Ministry of Information and Communications.

"My main job is to prevent online phishing and help inform people about cybersecurity issues. Finding security issues like the one in Apple is mostly done by tools, so it doesn't take too much time," he said.

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