Computer end-users in Vietnam lose a combined 400 million USD ( 8 trillion VND) a year due to malicious programmes and computer viruses.

The figure was made known by Vietnam's leading internet security firm, Bach Khoa Internetwork Security Centre (BKAV).

A survey conducted by the firm found there had been no significant improvement in the number of infected computers from April 2012 – April 2013.

The figure was based on the number of computers in Vietnam which had reached 5.9 million, according to the ICT White Book released by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) in 2012.

"This means each end user in Vietnam lost 1.34 million VND in the period," said Nguyen Minh Duc, director of BKAV's internet security department.

However, the company said the figure was still low compared with other countries such as England , which lost some 43 billion USD each year due to computer viruses.

Further figures from BKAV showed that 93 percent of Vietnam 's PCs became infected at least once by a virus during that period, up 5 percent compared to the previous year.

In addition, about 36 percent of PCs within Vietnam encountered a virus once a month during the period, while the major avenue for the spread of the infections continued to be USB gateways.

The situation could become more serious with the rampant W32.USBFakeDrive malicious firmware, which was detected by BKAV in March 2013.

BKAV experts said that the main factor attributed to PCs in Vietnam becoming infected was cracked or unlicensed software.

Users also clicked on strange links that led to websites contaminated with Fake AV virus.-VNA