Vietnamese data centre attack compromises news sites, insiders suspected
Tue 21 Oct 2014
The data centre for VCCorp (Vietnam Communications Corporation), a major Vietnamese internet company, was the subject of a targeted attack that seemed designed to compromise news sites hosted at the site, according to the company’s deputy general director.
Nguyen The Tan said: “We thought there was just an error at the Data Center, but with the help of relevant agencies, we were able to confirm on Sunday that a group of hackers are behind this targeted attack.”
The company conducted a joint investigation with the police, concluding that the outage was most likely caused by sabotage, and it is reported, though unverified, that one or more of VCCorp’s own employees may have been responsible.
The attack removed a large number of VCCorp client sites and services, and managing director of news website SecurityDaily Tran Quang Chien estimates that some of the outlets were unavailable for two days.
The effects of the attack began on October 13th, when a number of online news concerns powered by VCCorp went offline. These included cafeF.vn, genk.vn, kenh14.vn and soha.vn.
Chien is quoted as saying: “The hackers went much further this time by deliberately deleting all of VCCorp’s data in a way that would make it hard for the system administrators to retrieve the [data] loss.”, and described the incursion as “unlike normal hacking attacks”. He also described the event as “the largest cyberattack, with the most severe damage, ever in Vietnam.”
It is reported that the outages have caused significant financial damage to the clients of VCCorp, and to the company and its partners. Nguyen The Tan said: “We incurred losses from VND700 million to VND1.5 billion (£20,000- £43,000) on a daily basis.”
Tan also apologised to customers who had suffered from the attack, and assured that new security systems have been implemented for the news websites.
Tan said that there was no data loss, as all data had been backed up.