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Vietnam vulnerable as new cyber security threat emerges

By Minh Minh   September 5, 2018 | 10:54 pm PT
Vietnam vulnerable as new cyber security threat emerges
Vietnam receives over 6,500 cyber-attacks in the last eight months. Photo by Reuters
Cryptocurrency mining malware is the new threat and Vietnam’s weak cyber security makes it particularly vulnerable.

Experts said at a regional conference Wednesday that Vietnam suffered over 6,500 cyber attacks in the first eight months of the year.

It underlines Vietnam’s vulnerability to new cyber security threats, they said.

Cyber criminals are switching from spreading ransomwares, which encrypt users’ data and prevent them from being accessed unless a ransom is paid, to spreading cryptocurrency mining malware, said Nguyen Trong Duong, Director of the Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT).

This is happening as institutions and organizations have successfully developed countermeasures against ransomwares, he told the 2018 ASEAN Computer Emergency Response Teams Incident Drill (ACID 2018) conference in Hanoi.

The malwares can go far beyond simply hoarding the resources of users’ computers; they can also exploit security vulnerabilities to diversify their attack methods or even install more malwares on affected computers, he added.

“As system operators, we must stay vigilant and dutiful to safeguard the system’s security, and to be ready to deploy countermeasures in emergencies,” said Phan Tam, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications.

Fifteen countries and territories - Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - participated in this year’s drill, which focused on resolving system vulnerabilities that could be exploited for cryptocurrency mining.

Malware cost Vietnam VND12.3 trillion ($540 million) in losses last year, according to Bkav, a Vietnamese cybersecurity corporation.

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