Foreign servers prove to be huge gambling dens for Vietnamese

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Tens of millions of dollars are bet online on sports in Vietnam every day while cyber attacks are putting government and financial agencies in danger, officials said at a conference on cyber security March 26.

Tran Van Hoa, deputy head of the Ministry of Public Security's High-Tech Crime Fighting Department, said online betting has become complex, as the operations are organized in multiple stages with "close cooperation" between local agents and foreign bookies.

The bookies provide and manage gamblers' accounts and transact money through local agents, bank accounts, and unofficial channels, he said. In some cases, the local agents receive money to pay gamblers, he said.

"The betting value could top tens of millions of dollars a day."

Investigations also found cases of laundering of millions of dollars through foreign-based websites, he said.

Cyber attackers were active last year, spreading spyware, viruses, and denial-of-service attacks through emails, porn websites, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and popular software like Unikey. 

The attacks were launched to steal personal and banking account information or to spread spam and other advertisements, with select targets coming in for frequent attacks, Hoa said.

"Government agencies, banks and large businesses are constantly hacked and suffer big damage."

A report by the Vietnam Information Security Association at the conference showed that 78 percent of government websites are vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Leading content security software service Trend Micro said Vietnam has the largest number of compromised servers in the world -- 394 -- which were attacked mostly from China.

Russia followed with 34 servers and India with 19.

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