$542mn lost from cyber-attacks in 2017

January 9, 2018 | 10:09 am GMT+7

Cyber-attacks, including the rise of ransomware, cost Vietnamese users some VND12.3 trillion (542.8 million) last year, according to a report from leading local online security firm the Bach Khoa Internetwork Security Center (BKAV).


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2017 saw strong attacks from ransomware and malware containing cryptocurrency mining tools, causing losses that were up more than 18 per cent from 2016, the Hanoi-based company reported.
“It is expected that Vietnam will continue to face malware attacks, such as ransomware and malware containing crypto-mining tools,” BKAV said. The results were calculated from BKAV’s network security assessment in December, implying that losses from viruses in Vietnam reached record levels in recent years.
2017 saw a surge in cryptocurrencies worldwide, prompting hackers to strengthen their network attacks on computers to turn them into crypto-mining tools. There are two popular attacks, including taking advantage of website flaws and of social networks to spread viruses.
Hackers often choose websites with a high number of users to install malware containing cryptocurrency mining tools. When people access those websites, the malware is activated. As more than 40 per cent of websites in Vietnam have flaws, they will be the targets of hackers in spreading malware.
Hackers also spread the virus through social networks. On December 19, malware broke out on Facebook in Vietnam, with BKAV’s figures showing that over 23,000 computers in the country were infected with malware. It also showed that the virus will be strengthened through Facebook, email, an operating system’s flaws, or a USB in the time to come.
Ransomware was another threat for network security in 2017. The WannaCry malware spread viruses to computers in more than 90 countries within a few hours. In May, over 1,900 computers in Vietnam were infected by WannaCry and some 52 per cent of the total had flaws, which could be attacked by the virus.
Passwords have been a widely-used certification solution but Vietnamese users have not recognized their importance. In recent years, some cases of money being taken from bank accounts in Vietnam were due to users not being cautious while entering their password on websites, clicking on strange links or using only one password for different accounts. These habits should be changed to ensure safety of users, BKAV added.
Its figures revealed that up to 55 per cent of users use only one password for different accounts at many online services. In addition, Internet of Things (IoT)-connecting devices such as Router Wifi and Camera IP could be the targets of hackers.
The company said similar attacks will continue in 2018, as well as possible direct attacks on cryptocurrency software. Most of these systems have not been recognized by the government, meaning users will have to bear all the losses.