Vietnam vulnerable to cyber attacks but agencies poorly equipped

Thanh Nien News

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A Vietnamese website's appearance was altered following a Chinese hackers' attack in May 2014 A Vietnamese website's appearance was altered following a Chinese hackers' attack in May 2014

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Most organizations in Vietnam leave their internal networks open to their staffs’ mobile devices without managing them for information security, a new survey found.
A report presented by the Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA) at a meeting in Hanoi on last week said 81 percent of companies and organizations in Vietnam allow their employees to log onto company networks with their smartphones and tablets.
The report found that, of that group, 74 percent have not adopted measures to protect their internal information from private devices. Around half of that group said they hoped to limit that practice, but the other half said they had no plans to do so.
Officials at the meeting said the practice is just one reason that companies and organizations in Vietnam are still poorly equipped, or even totally unaware of the rising cyber attacks in the country.
One such case involved malware called, Ptracker software which Hanoi police discovered on more than 14,000 private cell phones. Private company Viet Hong technology sold the software to a few hundred customers to enable them to spy on targeted phones.
At the conclusion of the meeting, several officials described Vietnam's cyber environment as precarious.
Vu Minh Tri, general director of Microsoft Vietnam, said their surveillance figures showed that Vietnam is the world’s second-biggest victim of malicious code attacks, after China.
A Microsoft survey found that half of computers they bought in Vietnam new had malicious software installed on their systems.
Tri said 80 percent of Vietnam's computers are infected with various malicious codes and software.
But the VNISA survey, conducted on 475 companies and organizations, found 45 percent had invested little – below 5 percent of their budget – into information technology issues.
Security experts recommended an investment of around 10 percent of one’s budget.
Only 16 percent of the survey respondents, mostly banks and financial organizations, beat that by investing 10-15 percent of their budget.
Vu Quoc Thanh, vice chairman of the association, said the survey showed that companies and organizations in Vietnam have grown less confident in their ability to detect cyber attackers compared to two years ago.
“That could be for two reasons: their awareness on the matter has been raised, or the hackers have become more dangerous.”
Thanh said 20 percent of the respondent firms expressed concerns that the East Sea/South China Sea tension could threaten their information security.
Chinese hackers were said to attack more than a thousand Vietnamese websites in September, two months after China removed the oil rig it illegally deployed in Vietnamese waters in the beginning of May.

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