VietNamNet hacking could be an inside job: Bkis

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Hackers that took control of the popular online newspaper VietNamNet in late-November are Vietnamese and may have relations with the newswire's employees, local Internet security firm Bkis has said.

Initial investigations also show that there were "certain relations" between the attacks on November 22 and December 6, said Nguyen Minh Duc, head of the Hanoi-based Bkis' s Security Application Department.

Bkis localized the group of suspects and supplied this information to VietNamNet and the police for verification, he said.

Duc also said that because the case had signs of internality, further investigations and solutions would depend on the newswire and police.

On Nov 22, VietNamNet was disrupted and readers were unable to access the website. A lot of the newswire's data was deleted.

It took many hours for its technicians to retrieve the website from the hackers, who had left some messages on the homepage like: "HacKeD by TeaM MosTa AlgeriaN HackEr" and "I want Say... Secur!Ty".

Two weeks later, on the morning on December 6, hackers attacked the online newspaper again. This time, they posted an article revealing the newswire's source code, data base, internal reports, and business contracts.

The story was removed soon after.

Bui Binh Minh, IT assistant to VietNamNet's editor-in chief, said the hackers had stolen the password of one of the newspaper officials and thus they could post news on the site.

He also said information in the hackers' article were untrue aiming to "destroy and obstruct the newswire's activities as well as defame the newspaper and trigger internal conflicts."

VietNamNet ranks the 11th in the list of 100 most visited sites in Vietnam, according to Chicago-based web information firm Alexa.

Over the last month, 161 websites of agencies and businesses in Vietnam were attacked, Bkis said Friday (December 6), adding 13 cases were caused by local hackers and the remaining by foreigners.

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