VietnamNet - In the past two months, hackers have launched repeated
attacks on individual forums and government websites in Vietnam. A new
law comes into effect in March to combat the problem, but experts
wonder if it's enough.
The severe Dos war
On December 13th, regular visitors of Athena - a network security
training center in HCMC - were surprised to find that hackers had
changed the forum.s interface, and an obscene warning\remained.
HAVonline.net, a forum for networking security in Vietnam, crashed in
late November due to Dos attacks.
The same fate befell Viethackers.org two weeks later. Earlier,
engineers from FPT - an Internet Service Provider in Vietnam - found
that one of the company's Domain Name Servers had been broken into,
resulting in some clients not being able to view certain web pages,
such as Google.
A Dos attack - or Distributed Denial of Service - is designed to bring
a computer network to its knees by flooding it with useless traffic.
Recently, threats of attack and counter-attack have been circulating
on many Vietnamese forums, signaling that a Dos war may be about to
break out among members of these forums.
Two young online-credit card abusers captured by the police in late
November have just been released, because the judge in the case could
not identify the victims. Though the government is still apparently
reluctant to take strong legal action to curb these activities,
E-Transaction Law is set to come into effect March 1st, 2006.
Still a ways off
However, IT experts are skeptical that the law will make a difference.
"The upcoming E-Transaction Law is vague about enforcement. The
interests of victims have not been well defined", said Le Ngoc Quang,
IDG Vietnam's marketing director.
He added that most online users will not rally behind a law that
they're not sure will protect them from hackers. "We need to look at
how other countries deal this situation," Quang continued.
The director of IT company N.T.B. commented that he used to buy books
online at sites like Amazon.com using his credit cards until they
started refusing buyers with IP addresses from Vietnam.
There are still plenty of other websites to take his online business,
but he explains, "Now, I am too afraid of Vietnamese hackers stealing
my credit card's information. If this was to happen, to whom I would
cry for help?"
The vulnerability of online transactions in Vietnam obviously hinders
development of eBusiness and eCommerce and also makes foreign
investment less attractive.
Do Ngoc Duy Trac, a security networking expert from VASC Infosec club,
expressed his concern over enforcement of the upcoming law. "We need a
law-enforcement body that is strong and powerful enough to do the
job," Trac said.
Dr. Mai Anh, head editor of the E-Transaction Law's, hopes the
upcoming law will relieve concerns over the security and safety of
online transactions. "I know the Ministry of Police is setting up an
anti-high tech crime task force, and the Information Technology Law
will be effective in late 2006. I think that in a couple years time,
Vietnam will have a good legal foundation to maintain security on the
Internet," he commented.
Earn your Master's degree in Information Security ONLINE
Study IA management practices and the latest infosec issues.
Norwich University is an NSA Center of Excellence.