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Users lost over $1bn to computer viruses in Vietnam in 2020: report

Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 15:59 GMT+7
Users lost over $1bn to computer viruses in Vietnam in 2020: report
People wearing balaclavas are silhouetted as they pose with a laptops in front of a screen projected with the word 'cyber' and binary code, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014. Photo: Reuters

Users in Vietnam had more than US$1 billion stolen by computer viruses in 2020, when cyberattacks hit tens of thousands of people, according to a report by a local tech firm.

Those figures were included in a cybersecurity assessment report conducted in December 2020 and unveiled on Tuesday by Vietnamese security software and electronics company Bkav.  

Computer viruses caused VND23.9 trillion ($1.03 billion) in losses to users in Vietnam last year, according to the report.

Hackers stole hundreds of billions of dong, mostly via cyberattacks aimed at compromising one-time passwords in Internet banking. (VND100 billion = $4.3 million)

They duped users into installing spyware on their smartphones to steal the OTP needed for transferring money between bank accounts.

Bkav said it had detected over 15,000 instances of spyware installed on smartphones a month.

The VN84App, a piece of OTP collection spyware, infected thousands of smartphones in Vietnam last year, the company pointed out.  

Experts advised that users should only download apps from official stores while equipping their phones with security software to secure their banking.

Many major e-commerce websites and delivery platforms were compromised and had their data stolen last year, according to Bkav.

The firm warned users against clicking on dubious apps on social media as this could lead to their personal information stolen for wrongful use.

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