China’s cyber attacks threaten Internet freedom

10/08/2016

Now, in many respects, information has never been so free. There are more ways to spread more ideas to more people than at any moment in history. The internet is a crucial medium through which people can express themselves and share ideas and has become an increasingly important tool through which democracy and human rights activists mobilize and advocate for political, social, and economic reform. And even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.
Yes, Internet freedom has created more favorable conditions for enjoyment of rights of expression and speech, but it has now been threatened by cyber attacks. Several hostile and extreme groups of hackers, governmental and non-governmental, have conducted many cyber attacks through sophisticated malware and virus. This has become a common threat for the world internet security and even national security. 
On last Friday, an alleged Chinese hacker group carried out several cyberspace attacks on Viet Nam’s two biggest airports and the official website of the national flag-carrier Vietnam Airlines. During the time of the cyber attacks, passengers at Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International airports used their smartphones to record clips of screens at the airports’ check-in areas displaying pictures with words insulting Viet Nam and the Philippines regarding the East Sea (South China Sea) dispute. These videos were posted to Facebook and quickly went viral.
The hackers also took control of the speaker system at Noi Bai airport for a few minutes, during which the speakers broadcast a male voice distorting Viet Nam’s claims over the East Sea in English. The hackers claimed to be the 1937CN from China, which is one of the biggest hacker groups in the country and has a history of hacking Viet Nam’s and the Philippines’ websites in 2013 and 2015, respectively.
The hack affected some 100 flights which were delayed by between 15 minutes and two hours, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) in a statement, after the attack interrupted the airports electronic check-in systems. Airport security forces soon regained control over the hacked screens and speaker system. Partly private Vietinbank, one of the country’s biggest banks by assets, said the bank has taken the move until it can ensure there are no security risks. This decision means that customers who use the bank’s credit card services to buy tickets on the Vietnam Airlines website will be unable to do so until the matter is resolved. “This is an appropriate move as we haven’t fully assessed the effects of the cyber attacks,” said an executive of Vietinbank.
The maritime dispute in the South China Sea has been decided by the arbitration court in disadvantage to China — but now it seems the sea spat has been taken to cyber space.
Finland-based web security company F-Secure claimed on Thursday it has found a malware targeting the confidential information of government and private organizations, including the Philippines' Department of Justice.
The organizers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit held in Manila last November and an unnamed prominent international law firm, which represented Philippines during the arbitration case, were not spared from the cyber security attack.
The malicious program dubbed "NanHaiShu" (南海鼠) translates to "South China Sea rat" in English. F-Secure suspects it to be of Chinese origin. The Remote Access Trojan (RAT) is disguised as an innocent file, usually sent through an email. But once opened, it releases a virus into the victim’s computer, gathering and sending back information to the attacker.
F-Secure said the attacks all pointed to be politically-motivated, considering the timing of the attacks. "They occurred either within a month following notable news reports related to the dispute, or within a month leading up to publicly-known political events featuring the said issue," F-Secure said in a published 16-page whitepaper.
F-Secure said it stumbled upon the NanHaiShu malware when it explored the web security environment ahead of the Manila APEC Summit. They traced the malware’s history and found variants that coincided with developments in the dispute and milestones in Manila’s arbitration case against Beijing. The recorded attacks spanned late 2014 to March 2016.
F-Secure Threat Intelligence Team Senior Manager Mina Aquino said on Friday that based on organizations targeted, the attacker was most likely the Chinese government.
We must condemn these activities, from China or any states, because these hackers and cyber attacks have not just threatened states’ national security but also jeopardized people’s enjoyment of human rights and democracy./.
Chia sẻ bài viết ^^
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All comments [ 10 ]


John Smith 11/8/16 21:20

Viet Nam ranks 12th in the list of countries facing the maximum cyber attacks, according to the Internet Security Threat report (ISTR19) released by the Symantec Corporation

Gentle Moon 11/8/16 21:21

Viet Nam had jumped nine spots because of the rapidly increasing number of mobile internet subscribers and users who lack good cyber security skills.

LawrenceSamuels 11/8/16 21:21

the level of attacks has increased, with hackers continuously innovating and improving their methods to avoid IT surveillance and defence.

Jane smartnic 11/8/16 21:22

Enterprises should protect their information data, instead of their equipment or data centers.

yobro yobro 11/8/16 21:23

Firms should strengthen their safety infrastructure solutions to prevent loss of data.

Love Peace 11/8/16 21:26

The malware that recently attacked Vietnam Airlines is also hidden in the websites of government agencies, corporations, banks, research institutes, and universities.

MaskOf Zero 11/8/16 21:27

Once the malware is in the system, it can collect passwords and enable hackers to control computers from afar.

Only Solidar 11/8/16 21:29

The law on online information security, including regulations on preventing and fighting online terrorim takes effect on July 1, 2016.

Pack Cassiopian 11/8/16 21:30

Website defacement is an attack on a website's visual appearance, while phishing viruses allow hackers to steal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details from victims.

Deck Hero14 11/8/16 21:30

Cybercriminals mostly target small- to medium-sized enterprises as well as individuals to steal financial information and demand ransoms.

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