Science & Technology

Cybercrime targets finance sector

MONDAY, 03/06/2019 15:22:33

Viet 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 Thai Binh. VNA/VNS Photo

The information was released by deputy head of the Government Information Security Commission Nguyen Dang Dao at an international conference themed “Security World 2019” held in Ha Noi last week.

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

Major General Dao 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 Dao.

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

Dao 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.

Do Anh Tuan, 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 Viet Nam, he said stealing card information and counterfeiting cards (Skimming) was becoming complicated.

“Viet 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 Viet Nam,” Tuan said.

For example, Tuan said in 2018 and early 2019 foreigners had arrived in Viet 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 VND30 trillion (US$1.28 billion), and arrested 29 people.

According to statistics from the State Bank of Viet Nam, there were 26 organisations providing e-wallet services for about 10,000 units in Viet Nam. By the end of last year, there were 4.2 million e-wallets linked to bank accounts. The whole banking system handled VND73 quadrillion in 2018, up 25 per cent compared to 2017, averaging VND300 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.

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