Vietnam to tighten digital information security after cyber attacks

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The Vietnamese prime minister Friday asked all government agencies and local authorities to strengthen measures to protect digital information.

 

The order followed reports that hundreds of Vietnam websites, including the portals of many government agencies, have been hacked recently.

 

PM Nguyen Tan Dung required the agencies and local authorities to apply measures that help guarantee information's security, and keep networks as well as personal computers free of viruses and malicious codes.

 

Technicians with expertise have also to be in place, the directive says, adding that the agencies need to provide computer users with relevant knowledge and skills.

 

Network infrastructures and Internet service suppliers should  cooperate with related agencies to resolve issues in case important information systems face problems.

 

Citing statistics and surveys, Dung said in his latest order that cyber attacks with the purpose of damaging and stealing data are on the rise lately, posing risks to the application of information technology in the country's social and economic development process, as well as in guaranteeing national defense and security.

 

In related news, the news website Petrotimes of the state-owned Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) was attacked Thursday night.

 

The attack happened right after the website published updates about Chinese ships harassing the Viking II, a ship contracted by a PetroVietnam member company, early that day when the Viking II was engaged in seismic surveys in Vietnam's continental shelf.

 

Hackers used the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack with over 600,000 connections accessing the website at the same time, said Nguyen Nhu Phong, editor-in-chief.

 

They even deleted all of the site's data, but thanks to its back-up facilities, the site was restored more than 30 minutes later, he said.

 

According to Phong, the security team detected that many of the Internet protocols (IPs) that joined the attack were from China.

 

Previously, Chinese IPs were also found in attacks on some 20 websites of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Meanwhile, hackers left messages in Chinese or English along  with the images of the Chinese flag after attacks on many other sites.

 

Nguyen Minh Duc, director of Hanoi-based Bach Khoa Internetwork Security Company (BKIS)'s Internet Security Department, said currently hackers were mainly changing websites' interfaces and leaving messages.

 

But their attack methods will probably be more dangerous next time as they aim to spread viruses and steal data, he said.

  

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