Vietnamese lose VND24.4 trillion because of computer malware in 2021

January 28, 2022 | 09:02 am GMT+7

In 2021, the damage caused by computer viruses to Vietnamese users continued to be at a high level of VND24.4 trillion ($1.06 billion), according to Bkav.

 The report shows that, after two years of policy transitioning from Zero Covid to safe adaptation, online studying, working, shopping, even travelling and entertainment have become familiar skills for each person. People’s awareness of information safety and security has significantly improved, Bkav experts said.

Vietnamese users have had a sense of caution against scams in the form of gifts. The three most common forms of scams in the past year were: calls to inform people that they won prizes; requests to buy goods to continue getting prizes; and sending prize-winning messages via Facebook. Over 98% of users told BKAV that they contact the organizer directly to verify information of prize winnings before participating in any program.

Users are also aware of the possible risks when shopping online. Only 1% of users participating in the Cybersecurity Assessment 2021 program said they bought cheap products from any website. The rest said that they only buy goods from reputable e-commerce platforms licensed by authorities.

However, Bkav experts noted that an important skill ignored by users is checking whether the website link uses "HTTPS" before its website name. “HTTPS” indicates safe, registered websites.

Currently, most websites provide HTTPS and this protocol has become an almost mandatory standard for all websites that conduct banking and shopping transactions. Unfortunately, only 30% of users know about the “HTTPS” protocol. The rest still accept "HTTP" without knowing about the risk of spoofing attacks. To avoid the risk of being attacked, experts recommend that users do not make important transactions on website addresses that start with "HTTP".

Bkav’s network information security report also shows that the damage caused by computer viruses to Vietnamese users in 2021 was still at a very high level. Since 2018, this number has increased from 14,900 billion VND to 20,892 billion VND in 2019, 23,900 billion VND in 2020 and 24,400 billion VND in 2021.

Người dùng Việt bị thiệt hại 24.400 tỷ đồng vì mã độc máy tính trong năm 2021

Along with that, up to 70.7 million of computers were infected with viruses in 2021, a red alarm for the safety and network security situation in Vietnam.

According to Bkav, Vietnamese users still have a habit of using non-copyrighted software which is not updated regularly.

“Only about 10% of computers in use in Vietnam are equipped with anti-virus software capable of automatically updating and support from the manufacturer. The number is too small to build ‘herd immunity’. Each infected computer is another source of virus infection," said Vu Ngoc Son, Vice President in charge of Anti-Malware of Bkav.

2021 was a tumultuous year for digital currencies and businesses related to digital currencies, as the capitalized value of digital currencies surpassed the threshold of 1 trillion USD.

In Vietnam, the number of computers attacked by data encryption viruses in 2021 reached more than 2.5 million, 4.5 times higher than 2020. The majority of Vietnamese users still do not know how to respond when their computers are encrypted.

Notably, up to 99% of participants in Bkav's 2021 Cyberinformation Security Assessment program chose to follow the instructions of hackers to pay ransom in the hope of getting back their data from the hacker.

According to Bkav, in 2022 malicious code attacks will increase if users do not act early. Ensuring security on IoT devices also is needed when deploying on a large scale. In addition, supply chain attacks will be a trend and an ideal target for hackers in the new year.