Two of Vietnam's most popular websites on destination directions and information technology have been hacked.
Administrators of vozForums, a big local IT forum, have moved their operation from the international domain vozForums.com to the Vietnamese back-up domain http://forums.voz.vn, while the location website diadiem.com has switched to http://diadiem.vn and http://diadiem.com.vn.
For a couple days, the homepage of diadiem.com has been showing a billboard saying "This domain name is available for sale" and provides a cell phone and email address for contact.
It says "If you intend to make shit offer, don't email, we will not answer. Use your company email to contact, no free email service."
The "diadiem" (location) website has been in operation for seven years and is considered a leading and valuable online map and direction provider in Vietnam.
On September 7, its owner, the MJ Group, announced they had received US$60 million in investment for online services and commerce.
Meanwhile, people accessing the reliable IT page vozForums will read that from October 26, voz officially merges with "Tinh te", an online community of science and technology, and their screen will automatically switch to tinhte.vn in five seconds.
Members of the two websites have panicked and argued, until administrators of "Tinh te" said that the merging information is only a rumor spread by a third person who wants to sabotage both forums.
Bach Thanh Trung, an administrator of vozForums, said he and his people are working with the domain managers and providers, giving evidence of the domain copyrights to get it back.
But Nguyen Minh Duc, an expert from the Hanoi-based Back Khoa Internet Security Corporation, said the efforts will take a lot of time and procedures, and usually does not work.
"The website owners can lose their domain names forever and the loss of the domain means of the loss of the website brand and value.
"Bigger website means heavier financial loss incurred," Duc said.
He said website administrators in Vietnam need a more professional system and stronger passwords to protect their website from hackers, some of whom could be their friends or former workers.
Before the two websites, many popular Vietnamese websites such as diendantinhoc.com, an IT forum, and the online sale service provider 5giay.com have been stolen and the services were moved to the ".vn" domains.