FPT users in Vietnam lose control to hacked Chinese modems

By Thanh Luan, Thanh Nien News

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A wireless modem made in China that FPT provided to its users. Photo: Thanh Luan A wireless modem made in China that FPT provided to its users. Photo: Thanh Luan
A group of hackers have attacked a series of Chinese-made wireless modems in Vietnam, leaving users unable to to log into their network.
It remains unclear whether the hackers used the modems to steal personal information from users.
Vu Anh Tu, technology director of FPT Telecom, a leading national telecommunication firm and the only one embroiled in the problem so far, told Thanh Nien on Friday that the hackers changed the routers' user IDs and passwords.
Tu said all the faulty modems were made in China. Some modems had their user names changed to “China hacker.”
FTP imported the modems several months ago and distributed them to users across the country, Tu said adding that they have notified the manufacturer to solve the problem together.
Tu said it was a firmware problem and has nothing to do with FPT hardware.
The company is upgrading the modems’ firmware automatically to protect others while they go after the hackers.
Those who are already affected can call the company’s customer service for instructions on how to fix their modem or request a technician to come to their home, Tu said.
Lam Khanh Phuong, deputy director of the company’s branch in the southern province of Binh Duong, which neighbors Ho Chi Minh City, was busy helping dozens of affected customers on Friday.
Phuong believed a virus was likely the cause of the problem.
But it’s still not clear who launched the attacks and how, Phuong said.
Technicians at one company branch spent around three to five minutes fixing each modem on Friday.
Nguyen Hong Phuc, a cyber security expert, said the bigger threat from modem hacking is that the hackers can obtain personal information from their victims.

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