Viruses installed by a group of hackers are threatening national security on many major websites, Vietnam's leading cyber security center has said.
The hackers have installed viruses to steal classified information from Vietnamese organizations, according to experts from Hanoi-based Bach Khoa Internetwork Security Company (BKIS).
The viruses also infected many popular sites for software downloading. From there, the viruses spread quickly to other computers.
According to the experts, individuals with social and political agendas have employed viruses more and more in recent times to advance their agendas.
The country's big network systems as well as tens of thousands of computers nationwide could suffer a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack at any time, they said.
Vietnam's popular news website VietNamNet has been attacked many times last year and this.
Vu Ngoc Son, research director at BKIS, advised users to be highly cautious when downloading software.
People should only download necessary software directly from the producers and update their anti-virus programs regularly, Son said.
BKIS analysis shows that more than 1.4 million computers have recently been attacked by the fake-icon viruses, which often resemble a benign folder, image, Word or Excel file.
The viruses have bested even the most experienced users and are emerging as a new threat to information security, according to the creators of BKAV, the most popular anti-virus software in Vietnam.
A survey conducted by BKIS revealed that 58.6 million computers in Vietnam were attacked by viruses in 2010, with an average of more than 160,000 computers being attacked, every day.
More than 57,000 new viruses were created during the same period. The most pernicious computer strain remained W32.Conficker.Worm.
In 2010, a total of 2.2 million computers, or 8.5 times more than 2009, were attacked by viruses that masquerade as anti-virus software, said BKIS.