December 3, 2020

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Virus-infected computer networks decrease sharply in Vietnam

Vietnam’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) under the Authority of Information Security, Ministry of Information and Communications announced the results of the implementation of its campaign on reviewing and removing malware nationwide for this year.

The results were released by Tran Quang Hung, director of the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC).

The initiative is a large-scale campaign aiming to ensure the safety and benefits of communities, businesses, individuals and families that use internet-connected devices that are networked in a cyber environment.

The goal of the campaign is to reduce the rate of malware infection by 50% and reduce the number of IP addresses of Vietnamese computer systems in globally popular computer networks infected with viruses by 50%overall.

Researches by a number of reputable security firms that conduct global surveys showed that although malware infection in Vietnam had decreased recently, it was still high compared to other countries in the world.

Statistics showed that Vietnam had about 16 million computer addresses following the 4th generation internet protocol (referred to as IPv4) in the middle of September 2020. Of these, about three million IP addresses were frequently blacklisted by many international organisations.

One of the key outcomes of the campaign implementation is to take Vietnam out of the top list of malware infection rates reported by major security and information technology firms in the world.

The campaign was hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communications and implemented by NCSC in co-ordination with corporations including VNPT, Viettel, BKAV, FPT and CMC.

Many individuals and organisations have joined forces to check and remove malware from thousands of infected computers of individuals and businesses free of charge. The number of individuals and organizations giving feedback to the campaign has reached over 17,000.

Of the 900,000+ computers involved in malware scanning, over 300,000 infected computers were pinpointed and attended to by units participating in the campaign.

Information technology units, participating in the campaign, provide tools to inspect, process, and remove malware to ensure user safety when using computers and internet-connected devices.

Good quality anti-malware software is updated and allowed for free use by the providers themselves on a dedicated website. There have been more than five million approaches to the campaign after three weeks of implementation.

The Vietnam government strongly believes that ensuring safety in cyberspace will accelerate the process of national digital transformation as it is the key to a successful and sustainable digital transformation.

Spam and fake calls are a global problem that has emerged in Vietnam in recent years, a representative of the Telecommunications Department said.

According to the Telecommunications Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications, mobile network operators in Vietnam locked 34,700 subscribers that made spam calls and prevented over 9 million fake calls in the last three months.

Since July this year, network operators have blocked outgoing calls of more than 34,700 subscribers who made spam calls, including 16,288 subscribers in September 2020 alone. Additionally, network operators blocked over 9 million fake calls since July of which and  3.3 million fake calls were in September.

After network operators sent messages warning subscribers about fake calls, the proportion of subscribers answering calls made by strange numbers decreased from about 40% in June and July 2020 to below 10% at present. Reports of fake calls to the police have also dropped by 70%.

To ensure better cooperation of mobile service users, the Telecommunications Department and network operators have appealed to the wider community to work with the government and operators.