Illustrative image (Photo:lincolnit)

Da Nang (VNA) - The approval of the national master plan of development of digital information security to 2020 and the Law on Internet Security show that Vietnam has raised awareness of the importance of information security, said Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Minh Hong.

Hong made the statement at the 18th Association of Anti-virus Asia Researchers International Conference (AVAR Viet Nam 2015), which ended in the central city of Da Nang on December 4.

It drew 150 officials, experts on computer virus/ malwares from various countries and territories such as Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, the UK, the US and Vietnam in discussions on the situation of information security, protection of internet and computer users as well as warnings on cyber attacks.

The annual event was held in recognition of the changing threat landscape. This year's conference saw research, case studies, defence strategies, focusing on malware analysis and hacking techniques associated with advanced persistent threats and cyber-crime.

"The National Assembly has approved the Law on Internet Security, and it comes into effect next July. It creates a strong protection on information security and fighting against hackers amid the boom of information technology," Hong said in the opening ceremony.

"The conference is an opportunity for Vietnam to boost cooperation with international specialists in building a safe digital world. It's also a chance for the world to understand the real development of Vietnam," he said, adding that information security has a vital role to play in business, especially with the increasing use of on-line transactions.

He said the conference will pave the way for further cooperation with local IT experts and world partners.

The Vietnam Information Security Index (VNISA Index) in 2014 reached 39 percent, a slight increase in comparison to 2013.

Currently, only a third of the agencies and enterprises in the country have set regulations for information security; 57 percent of corporations didn't have investment funding for their information security programme upgrading or constructing.

IT experts forecast information security services will gain in importance, and many businesses have been affected by the spread of new virus variants.

Experts also said cyber attacks have also boomed, influencing national security and business activities, and internet crime via Vietnamese emails is increasing in frequency, making clear the need for improved network and information security.

A Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA) report showed that Vietnam ranked fifth among 10 countries at highest risk of having its information security breached in 2010. According to a more recent survey of businesses by the association, 33 percent said they had discovered network security attacks; 29 percent were unaware their network had been attacked; and about 22 percent responded that they did not understand the motivation behind the security attacks.

Allan Dyer, AVAR Chairman, said: "We are facing an ever-changing and growing threat from malware, but our capability to protect and respond is also growing. I believe that the international and inter-organisational exchange and cooperation at the AVAR conferences through the years have made a significant contribution to those defences. I am sure that our 18th conference will continue that tradition."

He said AVAR is not just a conference for virus researchers; it is also particularly relevant to the business and technical needs of corporate IT professionals, students, educators, law enforcement, legislators and all those whose objectives are to ensure safe and secure computing and the security of the internet.

Nguyen Le Thanh and Nguyen Phi Kha from Vietnam Security discussed targeted attack operations against the internet industry in Vietnam at the conference, sharing the details of some attack operations, including attack techniques, lateral movement tools, malware, C&C as well as useful techniques and tools they developed to detect and analyze related malwares.

Vietnam continues to experience a huge increase in the rate of targeted attacks but users rarely see the details of such attacks.

The country has a population of 90 million with 47 million internet users.-VNA