Asia Business Channel

Vietnam ranks #2 in the world for Crypto-mining attacks

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Moscow-based cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Lab’s, latest “Security Bulletin”, published in early December, ranks Vietnam the #2 country in the world for crypto-mining attacks between January and October 2018, with 13% of all cybersecurity attacks in this period launched by crypto-miners.

On a world-wide basis, Kazakhstan ranked #1 in the world with 16.75% of crypto attacks, followed by #2 – Vietnam, then #3 – Indonesia at 12.87% and # 4 – Ukraine at 11.9%. Together, these four countries received more than 54% of all worldwide crypto-mining attacks.

Crypto-mining refers to the technology used to solve complex computational math problems to produce crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. The crypto-mining process requires specialized computers with a great deal of computational power (mining machines) to solve the mathematical problems.

Increasingly, crypto-miners infect other users’ computers with malware that allows them to harvest their computing power and mine crypto-currencies. The “bandit” miners usually find their way to computers and corporate machines using adware, hacked games, and other pirated content.

Kaspersky’s study said: "The more freely unlicensed software is distributed, the more miners there are. This is confirmed by our statistics, which indicates that miners most often land on victim computers together with pirated software."

Kaspersky noted that content piracy and copyright infringement are rampant in Vietnam. They noted that due to high content licensing fees and the lack of effective law enforcement that cybercrimes often go unnoticed, and those that are noticed normally do not involve arrest and punishment.

The Kaspersky report also noted that whether a country has or has not established legislative control over crypto-currencies there is no correlation to the impact on hidden crypto-mining practices.

The Vietnamese government never legalized crypto-currencies, but has allowed individuals and companies to import crypto-mining machines into the country and some Vietnamese companies are accepting crypto-currencies. Effectively the country has a half/half system ... half is allowing crypto-related businesses to do operate in the country, while the other half is the lack of legislative laws or regulations related to the industry. As a result, Vietnam will continue to be one the to top three countries for crypto-mining attacks.

Nguyen Trong Duong, Director of the Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team, said during a cybersecurity conference in Hanoi earlier this year that Vietnam suffered more than 6,500 cyber attacks in the January ~ August period ... an average of 30 attacks per day.

According to Vietnamese cyber-security company, Bkav, cyber-losses in Vietnam in 2017 exceeded $540 million USD. BKAV’s statistics show that over 23,000 computers in Vietnam were affected with malware. It said that viruses would infect user computers through their interactions with email; an operating system’s flaws; or infected USB sticks. Ads on Facebook and other websites that contained malware were also sources of various viruses.

Ransomware was also another threat for network security in 2017. The WannaCry malware spread viruses to computers in more than 90 countries within a few hours. In Vietnam, over 1,900 computers were infected with the WannaCry virus and 52% of those computers had software and system flaws, which the virus could exploit.

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