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Vietnam busts hacker group behind hundreds of cyberattacks

By Phuong Son   May 31, 2019 | 07:32 pm PT
Vietnam busts hacker group behind hundreds of cyberattacks
A group of hackers in northern Vietnam said they have discovered security holes in the databases of multiple companies and hacked into hundreds of websites since 2013. Photo by Reuters/File.
Police have busted a gang that allegedly hacked into Vietnamese e-wallet companies' servers and appropriated hundreds of thousands of US dollars.

The Ministry of Public Security said Friday they had coordinated with local forces and arrested four suspects aged 23-25 for using high-tech methods to appropriate property from businesses that operate payment services and e-wallets in the northern province of Thai Nguyen.

Raiding the suspects' houses in the nearby provinces of Quang Ninh and Vinh Phuc on Wednesday, police seized cash and savings books worth over VND3 billion ($130,000), 30 bank cards, six computers, dozens of Nokia phones with "trash" SIM cards and other documents relevant to their alleged crimes.

All four, two men and two women, have confessed to their crimes, police said. Gang leader Do Tuan Anh, 23, claimed to have been discovering security holes in the databases of multiple companies and hacking into hundreds of websites since 2013.

After gaining control of the websites' admin accounts, he added balances to accounts the gang had created beforehand and used these to buy top-up card information, which they then sold to top-up card stores at a discounted rate.

He also claimed that he had hired foreign hackers to find the websites' security holes and seize control of them for him to steal their data.

He admitted to have attacked the databases of five companies between September 2018 and April 2019, stealing tens of thousands of mobile and game top-up card information worth nearly VND5 billion ($215,000).

To counter the rise of such high-tech crimes, the ministry has cautioned organizations, individuals and businesses to be more vigilant, enhance information security on their websites, emails and electronic devices, set up multiple-step login processes and arrange receipt of early warnings to avoid being taken advantage of by cyber criminals.

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