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$400 million lost from computer viruses

Released at: 10:27, 14/01/2016

$400 million lost from computer viruses

BKAV reports similar losses last year to 2014 with awareness apparently on the rise.

by Le Diem

Nearly 63,000 new computer viruses appeared in Vietnam last year, infecting 61.7 million computers and causing losses of VND8.7 trillion ($400 million) compared to VND8.5 trillion in 2014, according to the latest network security survey from BKAV Technology Group, Vietnam’s most well-known internet security company.

Based on users’ incomes and computer downtime, on average last year each computer user in Vietnam lost VND1.25 million ($55) while nearly 5,300 websites of both government and private organizations were hacked.

USBs were the major source of infections, with 83 per cent of surveyed participants saying their USBs were infected at least once last year, down only slightly from 85 per cent in 2014. More than 9.1 million computers were infected by viruses passed via USBs. W32 UsbFakeDrive was the most common virus.

Mobile phone subscribers, meanwhile, received around 14 million spam messages every day in total last year, while 93 per cent of Facebook users regularly received spam, unwanted sexual content, or harmful links (malware). Every month some 1,000 fake Facebook pages were created to steal Facebook users’ accounts, according to BKAV.

It advised people to be careful with information they receive and not to follow instructions from untrustworthy websites.

Security awareness among internet users actually improved, the survey found. Around 58 per cent of mobile users paid due regard to security when downloading software, a significant increase from the mere 13 per cent in 2014. Forty-eight per cent of BKAV users only opened files after checking the sender, 74 per cent often locked their computers, and the number with strong passwords (a combination of digits, letters, and special characters) increased.

With the appearance of new viruses and hackers, however, BKAV again warned people to be aware of untrustworthy information from emails and websites and to install anti-virus software on their mobile phones and computers.

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