VietNamNet - The first hacker to be arrested in Vietnam was taken into
custody last week, sending a clear message to cyber criminals.As the
nation railroads in IT networks and other solutions, hackers are being
told to buck up and obey the law by ending their destructive and
illegal attacks on networks and individual machines.
The hi-tech crime investigators from the Ministry of Public Security
worked with the Bach Khoa Information Securities Centre (BKIS) to
trace a distributed denial of service attack back to Nguyen Thanh Cong
in Dak Lak province. The attack was launched against e-commerce
company Viet Co on March 12. The subsequent investigation also showed
Cong had issued himself a fraudulent credit card number for online
Distributed denial of service, or DDoS, uses multiple compromised
systems to target a single system, causing a denial of service attack
or DoS. In a distributed attack, damage is not limited to the end
target system, and cripples all systems controlled by the hacker in
the distributed attack.
Cong is believed to have written a trojan that masqueraded as a benign
application. Unlike viruses, trojans do not replicate themselves but
can be just as destructive. As the historical name suggests, a trojan
is a shell programme that introduces viruses onto host machines.
As the programme spreads, the hacker is able to establish a botnet of
any quantity of computers infected with the trojan. Multiple bots can
then join on a single channel to flame a targeted network, launching
huge numbers of DoS attacks against a target server, causing it to
shut down. A hi-tech crime investigator said Cong had pleaded guilty
and was out on bail, pending investigation by the People's Supreme
Procuracy and impending trial.
"This arrest will send a message to hackers that their illegal
computer operations must come to an end and that this investigation
department will ensure network security in Vietnam," he said.
This is the first public move by hi-tech crime investigators in
Vietnam, despite the establishment of the unit more than a year ago.
"Hackers and criminals now know that there is a unit investigating
them inside Vietnam, and they must be cautious, instead of acting as
freely as before," the official added.
Local hackers have lauded Cong's DDoS attack, and claim his arrest as
a victory. They claim the publicity of the attack gives their work
credence, as the attack destroyed a commercial server that did not
cater for "study purposes", a common, if misguided allegation among
"We are scaring the hi-tech crime investigation unit now," a hacker in
Ho Chi Minh City said in response to the arrest.
Nguyen Tu Quang, director of the investigation unit, said there have
been many instances of attacks on domestic e-commerce websites, and in
some instances hackers have used their security breeches for
"Botnets are a real risk to network security in Vietnam, and hackers
are using a large number of trojan infected computers to launch DDoS
attacks, spread spam and steal financial information. Most people are
not aware of the risks and often overlook computer security," said
Meanwhile, the Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination
Centre is set to start operations this year, after training personnel.
The centre will focus on protecting financial and banking, government
networks and e-commerce sites which are vulnerable to online and
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