Vietnam says accusations it hacked China for virus information 'baseless'

A report which said Vietnamese government-linked hackers had attempted to break into Chinese state organisations


Reuters April 23, 2020
Man poses in front of on a display showing the word 'cyber' in binary code, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica. PHOTO: REUTERS

HANOI: A report which said Vietnamese government-linked hackers had attempted to break into Chinese state organisations at the center of Beijing’s effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak is “baseless”, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Hackers targeted Chinese government over coronavirus response

On Wednesday, US cybersecurity firm FireEye said a hacking group known as APT32, had tried to compromise the personal and professional email accounts of staff at China’s Ministry of Emergency Management and the government of Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the pandemic.

Investigators at FireEye and other cybersecurity firms said they believe APT32 operates on behalf of the Vietnamese government. The group’s recent activity mirrors attempts by a host of state-backed hackers to compromise governments, businesses, and health agencies in search of information about the new disease and attempts to combat it.

“The accusation is baseless,” foreign ministry spokesman Ngo Toan Thang told a regular news conference.

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“Vietnam forbids all cyberattacks, which should be denounced and strictly dealt with by law”.

Vietnam is willing to cooperate with international partners to combat cyberattacks, added Thang.

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