Vietnamese businesses fear future ransomware attacks

December 1, 2017 | 09:05 am GMT+7

After the May 2017 worldwide cyberattack by the WannaCry ransomware cryptoworm, Vietnamese businesses fear being blackmailed by ransomware again.


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The biggest concern about cyber security is ransomware


“100 percent of businesses surveyed by VNISA said the biggest concern about cyber security is ransomware,” said Vo Van Khang, deputy chair of VNISA.

The WannaCry attack was on May 12, and 240 units in Vietnam, mostly businesses, suffered. The total damage was estimated at hundreds of millions of dong. 

A television program production unit in HCMC was asked by WannaCry for 7 bitcoin ransom. A plant with a turnover of up to trillion dong per year in Bien Hoa (Dong Nai province) was also attacked by WannaCry.

One company with head office in Hanoi, which was a victim, had to pay VND100 million to get files back.
Meanwhile, CMC, a cyber security firm, released a report at a meeting on May 16 that 400 computers in Hanoi and 200 in HCMC suffered from WannaCry.

Khang said that cyber attack services have appeared in the market which provide infrastructure to deploy attacks and spread malware. The attack method is so simple that even those without deep knowledge about technology can use the tools to spread malware to blackmail businesses.

“We have found that the ransomware related market is developing strongly,” he said.

The survey by VNISA HCMC branch found that 61 percent of polled businesses now apply data encryption measures for important information, while 89 percent pay attention to backup methods.

The survey also found improvement in businesses’ awareness of information security. Nearly 69 percent of businesses have IT officers and 75 percent apply an information security policy. 

Regarding the ability to recognize cyber attacks, nearly half of organizations said they were not attacked.

However, despite the improvement in awareness, the majority of businesses spend less than 5 percent of investment capital on IT solutions, while less than 30 percent have the high investment rate in IT, around 10-15 percent.

A report of Symantech showed that Vietnam was among top 10 countries hit by cyber crimes, and is one of the targets that suffered the most cyber attacks in 2016. 

According to Kaspersky Lab, Vietnam is among three countries which have suffered the most from attacks targeting IoT devices. The other two are China and Russia.

By the end of October 2017, over 11,000 cyber attacks had been reported, according to Minister of Information and Communication Truong Minh Tuan. During the APEC Summit, Vietnam discovered 27 intentional attacks.

Nguyen Trong Duong, director of VNCERT (The Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team), said one of the biggest problems now for Vietnam is the lack of a qualified labor force to ensure information security.