Officials call for higher security measures for stronger website hackers

Website users and administrators had better upgrade their security as hackers have become more destructive, information security officials have said.

People work at a stock newswire in HCMC. OFficials have warned of a new wave of attacks into firms and offices' websites for database control (Photo: Minh Tri)

Most of the website attacks so far were committed out of personal revenge and the attacks only stopped at freezing the network broad band and leaving the database untouched.

Yet experts said that the recent series of website attacks were only a “drizzling rain” compared to a coming wave of attacks into servers of Vietnamese websites to secretly control their database and direct their operation.

In June alone, the number of website attacks was double compared to each of the previous months this year. In 250 cases, the targets were websites of state firms and offices, including around 60 websites with “gov.vn” in their IP address.

The cases involved foreign servers, aiming at foreign affair, economic and media agencies.

Some websites of state offices had their content changed, the national flag changed and access into the website was denied.

A source from the Information and Communication Department at the Ministry of Police said that the situation has severely affected the political, social and economic activities in Vietnam.

Yet the attacks actually result from bad security of the websites, experts said.

Firms and offices tend to hire hackers to guard their websites as they know where to attack, so they would know where to protect.

But experts said that the recruitment is risky as the hackers hired by an agency are sometimes the ones attacking that agency’s website.

Firms and offices usually add new services on their websites and are concerned only about their usefulness or friendliness rather than security measures.

According to the information technology investigators from the ministry, investigations into website attacks were hindered by various difficulties, especially cases involved foreign servers.

Website uses should enhance their security by both upgrading technologies and training their protection staff, the investigators said, adding that website administrators should keep regular tracks of file log to discover and fix any invasion to the websites on time.

The users can ask their Internet supplier to guarantee security for the website or switch to a better supplier, they said.

The officials also suggested government agencies tighten their control over suppliers of online services, imposing fines on any of them who fail to build their security to a certain levels.

Nguyen Tuan Viet, an official from the Information and Communication Department, said that the users when discovering a security loophole should lodge complaints to the website administrators or the department.

The department said that some website administrators, when finding out that they have been attacked, have steered the attacks to other websites, including those of state offices.

Thus the administrators have accidentally turned themselves from the victims into the attackers. The practice will be punished under laws, the department said said.

During a meeting on Wednesday, officials from the Ministry of Police, Ministry of Information and Communication and those from the Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT) discussed about establishing the Ministry of Defense for Electronic and Network Security.

The Police Ministry is considering proposing the plan to the Prime Minister for approval.

By Duong Loan and Tr.Luu – Translated by Cao Minh

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