Cybercriminals redirect attacks towards individuals

April 25, 2023 | 05:49 am GMT+7

Experts say cybercriminals are shifting part of their attacks towards individuals with malware, impersonation attacks and even campaigns spreading fake brand-name messages.


According to the Authority of Information Security (AIS), in Q1 2023, the agency recognized, warned and instructed 3,446 breakdown causing cyberattacks to information systems in Vietnam, a decrease of 6.3 percent compared with the same period last year.

In March, the number of cyberattacks on systems in Vietnam causing breakdowns was 525, a considerable decrease of 68.9 percent compared with February and 49.3 percent compared with the same period last year.

According to Truong Duc Luong, president of VSEC, the main reason behind the sharp fall in the number of cyberattacks of network systems is due to new, effective regulations about cybersecurity. 

“The most important information systems have been put under supervision and experienced periodic security assessments. The activities are not all the things that need to be done, but they are the beginning for deeper activities to ensure information security,” Luong said.

Ngo Tuan Anh said the decrease in the number of attacks shows great improvement in the awareness of important and large institutions about protecting their data.

That is why hackers have partially shifted to attacking individuals with malware, impersonation attacks, or fake SMS brand-names. This is spread to entice users to install malware on mobile devices, which allows hackers to appropriate information and use it as a jumping board to conduct other phishing attacks. 

The number of attacks of this type has increased rapidly because users are the weakest link in the information security chain.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought changes: internet users have a broader age spectrum, while more and more older and young people have access to the internet. These are people who don’t have many skills to protect themselves in an internet environment.

Amid accelerated digital transformation, experts believe that stealing information and attacking databases to steal information illegally that services fraud or cryptographic ransom will still be the major risks.

Talking about why people are still trapped despite many warnings, VSEC president Truong Duc Luong said tricks played by scammers have become more sophisticated.

“In large fraud cases, scammers very carefully learn about their victims and conduct a lot of trust-building activities such as chatting and giving gifts for a long time before they conduct attacks. The most common tricks include impersonating local authorities, officials and relatives to exploit victims’ fears and emotions."

VSEC believes that heightening awareness about protecting oneself in the internet environment remains the most effective measure.