The website of Vietnam Airlines was attacked on July 29

Hanoi (VNA) - The following are the top ten information and communication technology (ICT) events in Vietnam in 2016.

1. Hackers attack Vietnamese airports and Vietnam Airlines

An alleged Chinese hacker group carries out several cyberspace attacks on Vietnam’s two biggest airports, Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International airports, and the official website of the national flag-carrier Vietnam Airlines on July 29.

The hackers also took control of the speaker system at Noi Bai airport for a few minutes, during which the speakers broadcast an English-speaking male voice distorting Vietnam’s claims over the East Sea.

The hackers claimed to be the 1937CN from China, which is one of the biggest hacker groups in the country.

The official website of Vietnam Airlines, vietnamairlines.com, was hacked by the 1937CN group on the same day. The airline customer database was stolen and made public on the internet.

2. Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan this year granted licences for VNPT, Viettel, MobiFone and Gtel to provide 4G service on broadband 1,800 MHz.

On November 3, VNPT officially launched its 4G service on Phu Quoc Island in the southern coastal province of Kien Giang. This is the first locality in the country where VNPT is providing the 4G service.

3. Article 292 of the Penal Code, which stipulates penalties, including prison sentences, for providing unlicensed online or telecom services, is inimical to IT start-ups.

At the second session of the National Assembly, with the authorisation of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Justice asks to revoke Article 292.

Previously, a petition calling for the scrapping of Article 292 was sent to officials, ministers and agencies and collected nearly 6,000 signatures after only one week.

4. The Hanoi Department of Information uncovered a case involving Sam Media, a Hong Kong-based company, which cooperated with four Vietnamese carriers to steal 230 billion VND (10 million USD) from 94,000 mobile users.

These users received advertising messages from Sam Media, which they thought were free. After the case was uncovered, Sam Media was given a fine of 55 million VND (2,400 USD).

5. Cyber attacks on major banks

The Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) is almost cheated out of 1.13 million USD by international hackers in May.

Fortunately, the bank detected the suspicious transactions in time and promptly contacted relevant agencies to stop the hackers.

In August, a Vietcombank customer said she discovered that her account had notifications of transfer of 500 million VND. At a meeting between the customer and Vietcombank, the bank found that she had browsed a scam website on her phone and the site had stolen her banking information and password.

The cases indicate that hi-tech criminals are targeting banks and Vietnamese users who do not have experience in information security.

6. Clamp down on pre-activated SIMs

Five mobile network providers - including Viettel, VNPT (VinaPhone), MobiFone, Gtel Mobile and Vietnammobile - sign a commitment on October 28 with the Ministry of Information and Communications to intensify the confiscation of pre-activated SIM cards in order to reduce spam text messages.

More than 15 million pre-activated SIMs have been locked and retrieved since.

7. Dialling code changes

The dialling codes of all cities and provinces will be changed early next year, according to a decision by the Ministry of Information and Communications in November. The process will kick off after the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays, on February 11.

In the first phase, the calling codes of Son La, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Dien Bien, Yen Bai, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Da Nang, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh will be changed.

Another 23 localities will get new codes on April 15. The final phase will be initiated on June 17 for the rest of the country.

8. 2016 chosen to be National Startup Year

The Government chooses 2016 to be the National Startup Year.

Promoting entrepreneurship based on innovation and building Viet Nam to become a startup nation is the fastest way to develop enterpreneurial forces, especially high-tech enterprises, creating breakthrough for the development of a digital economy.

9. Cyber-Information Security Law takes effect

The Law on Cyber Information Safety takes effect on July 1.

The law comprises eight chapters and 54 articles prescribing the rights and responsibilities of offices, organisations and individuals in ensuring cyber information safety and civilian encryption.

10. Three mobile network providers cancel roaming charges

At the 9th Summit of the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) Development Triangle Area (CLV 9), Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc tasks Viettel with modernising the telecommunication networks of the three countries with 4G technology.

He also asks Viettel to support the building of e-Government for the three countries and deploy phone calls among subscribers in the three countries at domestic rates, which means cancelling roaming fees for subscribers in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.-VNA