According to Chief of the Cyber Security and Telecommunication Equipment Division of the Military Industry-Telecoms and (Viettel) Nguyen Van Thanh, electronic devices are smarter and smarter, bringing benefit and convenience to people. But it seems as if many Vietnamese people fail to protect their smart devices and their privacy when they are in cyberspace.

In fact, Viettel is not the first firm that has supplied cyber security services and solutions in Vietnam. But it takes the lead in researching and developing a system of solutions that can ensure security and safety for groups of organizations or people on cyberspace. It is also the one that has laid foundations for Vietnam’s cyber security industry.

Viettel announces the establishment of Viettel Cyber Security

Malware from Liberia and a story about cyber security

In November 2016, hackers launched DDOS to Liberia’s cyber network. The malware, whose name was Mirai, infiltrated into modems, settle boxes, and cameras connected to the Internet and turned them into botnets. Official statistics showed that tens of thousands of cameras were infected with Mirai, which made the country’s cyber network overloaded and completely downed.

In the age of Internet boom, the malware spread very quickly and the network of the largest Internet provider in North America was also broken down for half a day. The malware hit Vietnam’s cyber network as well.

“I had just fixed an electronic device for our client. It was infected again 20 minutes later,” recalled Thanh.

In fact, the virus was very dangerous and devastating so it took a lot of time and energy to fix a Mirai-infected electronic device. “Our cyber security team set up a trap and only several minutes later a virus got in and started to deploy the malware. Thanks to this method, we identified the code of the malware but we had to work many days to learn about its features and decode the malware. Finally, we successfully deleted the malware throughout the entire network.

In theory, electronic device manufacturers all want to develop and install the most secure software in their products. But in practice, the smarter electronic devices are, the more vulnerable to malwares they are.

The “white cap” team of Viettel was formed after the cyber attack. Since then, they have restlessly fought “black cap” hackers in cyberspace to protect electronic devices, internet users, and networks in Vietnam.

Founders of Vietnam’s cyber security industry

Chief of the Cyber Security and Telecommunication Equipment Division of the Military Industry-Telecom (Viettel) Nguyen Van Thanh

In 2009, Nguyen Van Thanh graduated university. He first worked for Viettel but he left the company after a short time. He then worked for some other companies for several years and finally returned to Viettel in March 2013. He said, “I finally recognized that Viettel was the right place for me to work, develop my career, and realize my dream of being a knight on cyberspace.” 

Since then, Thanh has worked as a network security expert at Viettel. At first, he was responsible for assessing vulnerabilities in Viettel’s network and protecting the network and its customers from cyber attacks. Later, he led a team in charge of maintaining information security for the company’s telecommunication network.

At that time, no telecommunication services providers in Vietnam had a team dealing with information security for their telecommunication networks. Thanh recalled, “Leaders of Viettel told his team: “You are the founders of a new industry in Vietnam – cyber network industry.”

“Information security in telecommunication networks was completely new to me. Actually, few experts in Vietnam and even in other countries had the full concept of information security,” Thanh stressed.

With his strong resolve and high sense of responsibility for work, he started self-studying about telecommunication networks and information security on cyberspace. He met numerous difficulties as there were only one or two companies in the world researching this field. He and his workmates then applied for a training course on vulnerabilities in telecommunication networks in France.

After the course, he now had an insight into information security in telecommunication networks. Returning to his work, he spent day and night researching network vulnerabilities and finding out the solutions. 

So far, Thanh has engaged in a large number of fights against domestic and international “black cap” hackers in cyberspace and become a Vietnamese expert in this field.

With its right vision six years ago, Viettel now has a strong “white cap” army capable of protecting its networks at home and in its invested foreign markets from cyber attacks as well as ensuring information security in cyberspace for Central agencies and ministries of Vietnam.

On the way to providing information security solutions to the world market

Apart from researching and developing products and solutions on information security for Viettel’s telecommunication networks, Thanh and his team survey foreign countries and offer international telecommunication companies their products and solutions, which helps ensure network security and information security for their international telecommunication networks.

As soon as Viettel’s “white cap” team has developed new network security and information security products and solutions, Thanh quickly promotes and offers them to foreign telecoms and other relevant clients.

In fact, he successfully deployed the TAD Antifraud – Test-call Generator system for a telecom in Ethiopia. Futhermore, Viettel’s Network Security Company has also signed two big contracts with its domestic and foreign partners.

Thanh affirmed that he and his men will work hard to protect Viettel’s networks at home and in the group-invested foreign countries, and provide information and network security products and solutions to foreign clients, contributing to making Viettel soon become an internationally prestigious cyber security solution provider.

Translated by Thu Nguyen