Cybercrime targets finance sector

by LV01 June 2019 Last updated at 08:16 AM

Việt Nam’s cybersecurity was being compromised, posing new challenges in ensuring information safety, especially in the finance-banking sector, State agencies and organisations.

Staff at work at the cybersecurity centre in the northern province of Thái Bình.

The information was released by deputy head of the Government Information Security Commission Nguyễn Đăng Đào at an international conference themed “Security World 2019” held in Hà Nội on Wednesday.

At the conference, participants focused on Việt Nam’s cybersecurity and solutions to strengthen data protection in the public and finance-banking sectors.

Major General Đào said that cyber-attacks, espionage and cybercrime had been on the increase resulting in the theft of state secrets and the destruction of information systems.

“There is an increasing number of cyber-crime and reactionary organisations operating in a sophisticated manner, causing serious consequences and threatening social order, safety, political stability and national security,” said Đào.

This situation was set to become even more complicated and the finance-banking sector would continue to be a target for hackers, he added.

Đào also pointed out five risks the country was facing: malware; attacks on e-commerce and finance-banking systems with the aim of extorting, stealing information of organisations and individuals; attacks on infrastructure and IoT equipment; attacks on state agencies and organisations in order to steal state secrets; and distributing harmful and false information online.

Đỗ Anh Tuấn, deputy director of the Ministry of Public Security's Department of Cyber Security and High-tech Crime Prevention, said in recent years, cybercriminals had attacked banks around the world, including ATMs, causing serious consequences.

In Việt Nam, he said stealing card information and counterfeiting cards (Skimming) was becoming complicated.

“Việt Nam has about 70 million domestic cards. If it is slow to switch from bank cards to chip cards, it could become the focus of card fraud. Skimming is increasing in Việt Nam,” Tuấn said.

For example, Tuấn said in 2018 and early 2019 foreigners had arrived in Việt Nam on the pretext of travelling. “They rented houses and installed broadband to conduct fraudulent transactions and make fake bank cards to withdraw money or pay bills/services via point-of-sale (POS) machines, stealing hundreds of millions of dollars.”

From the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Public Security had arrested more than 120 foreigners for this crime, he added.

He also said that groups organising online gambling via bank accounts was common, with millions of dollars per day changing hands. At the end of April, police broke up a gambling ring worth more than VNĐ30 trillion (US$1.28 billion), and arrested 29 people.

According to statistics from the State Bank of Việt Nam, there were 26 organisations providing e-wallet services for about 10,000 units in Việt Nam. By the end of last year, there were 4.2 million e-wallets linked to bank accounts. The whole banking system handled VNĐ73 quadrillion in 2018, up 25 per cent compared to 2017, averaging VNĐ300 trillion each day.

A report from the Ministry of Public Security showed that there were thousands of Vietnamese websites attacked by hackers annually. In the first months of this year, over 2,500 websites with Vietnamese domain names were attacked and hundreds of thousands of computers were infected with malware. — LV


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