Da Nang hosts cyber security drill on preventing APT attacks

July 2, 2018 | 09:00 am GMT+7

Preventing Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks on national critical information infrastructure was the main topic of a seminar and drill on cyber security for central Vietnam and the Central Highlands in the central city of Da Nang on June 29.

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A drill on cyber security was held in Da Nang city on June 29

The event was held at the Quang Trung Software City by the Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT) in partnership with the city’s Department of Information and Telecommunications and the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT).

The event brought together cyber security forces and officers from many ministries, the Party Central Committee Office, National Assembly Office and Government Office, and leading experts on APT attacks.

According to Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Hung, the drill scenario simulates a real-life cyber-attack in which a computer of a governmental institution is tricked into a phishing scam and infected with malwares which seem harmless but open way for hackers to enter the internal computer network to steal confidential and top secret data, and gradually take over the control of the entire system.

This is the first large-scale security drill ever held in the central and Central Highlands regions, Hung said. He stressed that it is an opportunity for cyber security authorities and agencies to exchange experience; enhance their cyber-attack readiness and capacity to protect critical information infrastructure; and improve public awareness of cyber security.

Vice Chairman of Da Nang city’s People’s Committee Ho Ky Minh said Da Nang has put into use an e-Government information system with all components as regulated by the Law on Information Technology and recommended by the World Bank. The system now contains more than 12,000 accounts of public employees in 230 units and 86,000 accounts of public service users. It has processed about 4 million applications for public services annually. 

Minh noted that to protect the system, the city has set up a special task force to operate it and deal with any failure or security incidents of the system. The task force has also joined the national cyber security emergency response network, he said.

During the seminar, delegates delivered reports on various issues, such as current status and solutions to ensure information security for e-Portals in the region, preventing APT attacks on national critical security networks, and more.

First appearing at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, APT attacks have remained one of the top information security threats, said VNCERT Deputy Director General Nguyen Khac Lich. Using sophisticated and diverse methods, APT attacks use advanced tricks and social engineering techniques to dupe security walls and cause enormous damage to the national critical information infrastructure.

Statistics show that more than 27 percent of APT attacks have targeted governmental institutions, followed by those hitting banking and financial institutions and telecommunication firms with a large customer database.

Vietnam has seen a number of APT attacks on big organisations; most notable among these is the cyber-attack on the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines in July last year.

The VNCERT reported that last year, Vietnam was hit by 13,382 cyber-attacks, including 6,400 Phishing, 4,377 Deface and 2,605 Malware attacks. Some 5,179 cyber-attacks have been recorded since the beginning of 2018, consisting of 1,122 Phishing, 3,200 Deface and 857 Malware attacks.

VNCERT is a member of the Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team with over 120 units and 500 technicians. Over the past several years, the VNCERT has coordinated with other Vietnamese organisations to take part in international cyber security drills, such as ASEAN CERTs Incident Drill, ASEAN – Japan cyber security drill and a drill to test response capability of computer security incident response teams from 20 countries and territories in Asia-Pacific.