Computer viruses caused estimated losses of VND20.9 trillion ($902 million) to Vietnamese users last year, much higher than the 14.9 trillion VND reported in 2018, reported Bkav Technology Group.
Participants at a cyber security drill in 2018 held by the Việt Nam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT).
The group's report focused on cybersecurity last year and forecasts for 2020.
The proliferation of computers infected withdata encryption malware and advanced persistent threat (APT) malware were themain cause of these huge losses.
The total number of infected computersrecorded last year reached 85.2 million, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to 2018.
Bkav experts said the first reason was thedownload and installation of unknown software found floating on theinternet. Eight out of 10 computers were infected with viruses wheninstalling software downloaded from the internet.
Although the rate of virus infections via USBwas still high at 55 percent, it decreased by 22 percent compared to 2018.
In contrast, viruses transmitted via emailincreased by 4 percent compared to 2018.
Bkav statistics also pointed out that therewere still 41.1 percent of computers in Vietnam with SMB breaches, whichhad been exploited by the Wanna Cry virus to infect more than 300,000 computersin just a few hours.
“These are great risks for informationinsecurity in Vietnam,” said Bkav.
To prevent malware, Bkav experts recommendedthat users be equipped with permanent anti-virus software to scan USBs beforeusing them, open attachments from the internet in a safe isolation environment(Safe Run) and regularly update new version for computers.
The past year also continued to witness therevelation of ransomware.
Bkav's statistics showed that the number ofcomputers losing data reached 1.8 million last year, up 12 percent compared to2018.
Not only causing great damage, data lossesalso delayed the operation of agencies and businesses for many days, even for amonth.
Bkav experts said there was a large-scalecampaign of foreign hackers attacking server computers with weak passwords inVietnam.
Hackers focused on detecting servers with weakpasswords, thereby getting remote access to manually install data encryptionmalware.
This type of attack disabled theanti-virus software because hackers gained full control of the servercomputers.
Bkav recommended users, especiallyadministrators, to review and set strong passwords for server computers.
Strong passwords must be nine or morecharacters long, containing both uppercase and lowercase letters, with numbersand special characters.
The Department of Cybersecurity andHigh-technology Crime Prevention under the Ministry of Public Security had aworking session with head of the Economic Commission of the Party CentralCommittee Nguyen Van Binh on January 16.
The department reported that ithad coordinated and transferred to investigation agencies at alllevels 15 criminal cases involving 121 defendants, whileadministratively sanctioning 254 foreigners and handing over 555to foreign investigation agencies last year.
The department also detected and handled 40cases of disclosing State secrets via the internet, and recovered data andelectronic evidence from more than 1,000 devices forpolice investigations.
Speaking at the meeting, Binh praised andcongratulated the department on its achievements.
He also emphasised the role of the FourthIndustrial Revolution, confirming the important position of cyber security andthe Department of Cyber security and High-technology Crime Prevention.
The department should promote solutions toimprove the capacity and potential for cyber security
and high-technology crimeprevention forces, tighten relationship between forces inside and outsidethe police sector to ensure cyber security and prevent and combat crimes usinghigh technology, and expand international co-operation in the fight againstorganised cross-border cyber crime./.VNA