Malware, piracy obstruct Vietnam’s digital economy

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Vietnam digital economyVietnam’s plans for establishing a digital economy faces headwinds. According to experts, most of the software used in the country is pirated, and computer users in the country are experiencing an “epidemic” of malware attacks, Voice of America reported.

Vietnam’s information, communications and technology sector has grown rapidly over the last 10 years and the government has high hopes for its future, with plans to become a center for Information Technology outsourcing in the next decade. But to capture its share of the knowledge economy, experts say more has to be done to address cyber security in Vietnam.

One major stumbling block is malicious software, known as malware, which is used to disrupt or damage computer operations, steal data or access private computer systems. Vietnam is consistently among the top five distributors of spam and malware in the world, said Michael Mudd, Chair of Information Technology, Intellectual property and Telecommunications Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce. He said Vietnam is facing a malware “epidemic,” mainly because of lack of awareness about the problem.

“In the countries that have been involved in IT for longer, they are more aware of anti-virus programs. Everywhere I go in Vietnam, I go in places and offices and stuff like this, and hardly any computer, apart from the very big ones, are protected by any anti-virus program at all,” he explained.

The issue of malware is a very reactive one, you do not do anything until it hits you, said Wahab Yusoff, Vice President of the South Asia region for global computer software company McAfee.

“I think awareness is increasing but I think there’s a sense of laissez faire, I’m not being affected, but awareness is increasing,” Yusoff said. “Compared to Singapore it’s a much smaller country and community, it’s less in terms of awareness and maturity but it’s definitely on the rise.”

According to US-based Business Software Alliance, around 81 per cent of computers in Vietnam use pirated software. Mudd said infected computers could take up to 20 percent of available bandwidth, incurring substantial economic costs. Compromised computers can be used to launch attacks on other computers.

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Vietnam's plans for establishing a digital economy faces headwinds. According to experts, most of the software used in the country is pirated, and computer users in the country are experiencing an "epidemic" of malware attacks, Voice of America reported. Vietnam’s information, communications and technology sector has grown rapidly over the last 10 years and the government has high hopes for its future, with plans to become a center for Information Technology outsourcing in the next decade. But to capture its share of the knowledge economy, experts say more has to be done to address cyber security in Vietnam. One major...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Vietnam digital economyVietnam’s plans for establishing a digital economy faces headwinds. According to experts, most of the software used in the country is pirated, and computer users in the country are experiencing an “epidemic” of malware attacks, Voice of America reported.

Vietnam’s information, communications and technology sector has grown rapidly over the last 10 years and the government has high hopes for its future, with plans to become a center for Information Technology outsourcing in the next decade. But to capture its share of the knowledge economy, experts say more has to be done to address cyber security in Vietnam.

One major stumbling block is malicious software, known as malware, which is used to disrupt or damage computer operations, steal data or access private computer systems. Vietnam is consistently among the top five distributors of spam and malware in the world, said Michael Mudd, Chair of Information Technology, Intellectual property and Telecommunications Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce. He said Vietnam is facing a malware “epidemic,” mainly because of lack of awareness about the problem.

“In the countries that have been involved in IT for longer, they are more aware of anti-virus programs. Everywhere I go in Vietnam, I go in places and offices and stuff like this, and hardly any computer, apart from the very big ones, are protected by any anti-virus program at all,” he explained.

The issue of malware is a very reactive one, you do not do anything until it hits you, said Wahab Yusoff, Vice President of the South Asia region for global computer software company McAfee.

“I think awareness is increasing but I think there’s a sense of laissez faire, I’m not being affected, but awareness is increasing,” Yusoff said. “Compared to Singapore it’s a much smaller country and community, it’s less in terms of awareness and maturity but it’s definitely on the rise.”

According to US-based Business Software Alliance, around 81 per cent of computers in Vietnam use pirated software. Mudd said infected computers could take up to 20 percent of available bandwidth, incurring substantial economic costs. Compromised computers can be used to launch attacks on other computers.

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