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Network attacks on Vietnamese systems decrease by 20%

In the first quarter of 2021, the Department of Information Security at the Ministry of Information and Communications recorded 1,271 cyber-attacks on information systems in Vietnam, a reduction of 20% compared to the same period last year.

Of a total of 1,271 cyber-attacks causing incidents to information systems during this period, the number of malware attacks was the highest, with 623 cases. The numbers of phishing and deface attacks were 449 and 199, respectively. The number of cyber-attacks causing incidents on information systems in the country decreased by 20% year on year, but it slightly increased from January through March, according to data reported in a press release.

Furthermore, in March, the Department of Information Security recorded 491 cyber-attacks, an increase of 8.15% compared to that in February 2021, including 180 malware attacks, 164 phishing, and 147 deface attacks. The total number of cyber-attacks on local systems was 326 in January 2021, up 3.49% from the previous month. This figure in February 2021 was 454, an increase of 39.26% compared to January.

As per the Department of Information Security, after eight consecutive months of decline, in March 2021, the number of Vietnamese IP addresses in botnets increased slightly, to around 1 million addresses, an increase of 11.34% compared to February 2021.

However, in the first quarter of 2021, the number of Vietnamese IP addresses in botnets decreased by 37.44% compared to the first quarter of 2020 and by 14.39% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. Director Tran Quang Hung, of the National Centre for Cyber-Security Monitoring (NCSC), under the Department of Information Security in 2020, explained that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in security risk. Early on, Vietnam identified the problem and prepared to deal with it well, so the country effectively minimised the risks.

For state agencies, according to NCSC, 2020 was a year with many bright spots ensuring cybersecurity. Under the direction of the government, 100% of ministries, agencies, and localities have completed the implementation of the Cyber Security Monitoring and Operation Centre and connected these centres to the NCSC’s system.

From a business perspective, the programme “Make in Vietnam” has urged information security businesses to master core technology and bring their quality and advanced products and services to the market.

Predicting a prominent cyber-attack trend this year, the NCSC representative said that with the unpredictable developments of the Covid-19 epidemic, in 2021 online phishing attacks will be still complicated, with an increase in number and methods.

Experts also expect that in Vietnam, as businesses and organisations are promoting digital transformation in a variety of fields, from government, health, and education to tourism and trade, new challenges for ensuring cybersecurity will emerge.

In the first two months of this year, Vietnam’s telecom carriers stopped more than 22,000 spam calls. From July 2020 to February 2021, the Department of Telecommunications cooperated with Viettel, VNPT, and MobiFone to deploy a technology solution to screen 111,694 calls and cancel scammer-owned subscriptions.

In January 2021 alone, the total number of spam calls that were stopped reached 14,646. Some other 7,400 spam calls were stopped in the following month, as OpenGov Asia had reported. Telecommunication enterprises have also launched a roadmap on measures to handle junk calls. They also use big data or machine learning technology to identify subscribers who are suspected of spreading spam calls.

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