Malicious foreign botnets hijack Vietnamese computers

Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013 17:53

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — At least one million Vietnamese computers have been exploited by foreign botnet networks for use in delivering more than 3.33 billion spam messages a day, and they could also be used to attack national information technology (IT) systems.

The information was provided by Vu Quoc Khanh, director of the Viet Nam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT) at a conference on Wednesday.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Minh Hong spoke at the conference on Wednesday. He said the the ministry would finish a draft on information security to submit to the government at the beginning of 2014. Photo

Khanh said that VNCERT recently discovered that international networks saw the involvement of computers with IP addresses from Viet Nam, including Zeus botnet with 14,075 Vietnamese IP addresses, and Sality, Downadup and Trafficconverter with a further 113,273.

He said that the networks' spyware not only destroyed IT systems but also stole confidential documents from agencies and organisations, and that VNCERT had information on an attack from the Razer botnet on other web hosting providers in Viet Nam.

Razer is open to everyone on the internet. Users only need to register and list attack targets, and the botnet will carry out the attacks.

Khanh said that risks from botnets were "very dangerous" but Viet Nam does not have much ability to cope with this. Specialised agencies such as VNCERT could only give warnings based on reports from victims, and related organizations did not co-operate closely and timely, he added.

Attending the conference, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Minh Hong said that the ministry tried to design laws to ensure information security, including finishing a draft law on information security to submit to the government at the beginning of 2014.

"The government allowed the ministry to found its department of information security to manage information security at the state level and then in provinces. In addition, the ministry is co-operating with related sides to implement monitoring programmes to discover and remove harmful software from infected computers in Viet Nam, as well as spread knowledge about information security to the public," he said.

In order to decrease the risks from botnets, Khanh suggested the organisation of annual simulated exercises at the central and provincial levels to discover and prevent botnets and malicious software. He said that there should be measures implemented to avoid computer infections, and organizations who receive warnings from VNCERT and do not solve the problems on schedule should have their domain names taken back and IP addresses isolated. — VNS

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