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Data stealing spyware VN84App attacks mobile users in Vietnam

Cyber security corporation Bkav yesterday released a warning about spyware VN84App that is currently aiming at Vietnamese mobile users. 

Data stealing spyware VN84App attacks mobile users in Vietnam

Attacking method of spyware VN84App (Photo: SGGP)

This spyware can penetrate a smartphone to monitor and steal sensitive information like OTP codes and private messages of owners. Over 300 victims have been its victim in just a short time.

Spyware VN84App is spread via fake state websites such as the site of the Ministry of Public Security. When Internet users access these sites, they are instructed to download a mobile phone app with the .apk extension. After a successful installation, VN84App will silently collect confidential data like messages, phone numbers, IMEI information to send to the hacker’s server. The spyware also owns certain modules to perform possible attacks to other users.

VN84App is able to monitor users’ SMS when it requests the right to become the default message delivery on the phone. It can duplicate the original message to hide its spying action.

The spyware also asks for the right on other features of the phone like accessing the call history and phonebook.

Bkav discovered that stolen data are sent to a Command & Control (C&C) server at the IP address of 155.138.161.5, with two service portals of 22 and 80. The latter one, at http://155.138.161.5, has a Chinese interface and mostly aims at hefty bank transactions of billions of VND.

Nguyen Van Cuong, Head of Bkav’s analysis team, shared that thanks to the close collaboration between the National Cyber Security Center (under the Ministry of Information and Communications) and the Cyber Security and High-tech Crime Prevention Force (PA05) under Hanoi Department of Public Security, VN84App was timely handled.

He delivered a warning to all mobile phone users to increase their awareness about calls from strangers with unknown origin, to not blindly follow any instruction of such people, and to properly install anti-virus apps for full protection of their devices. SGGP

Vien Hong

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/sci-tech-environment/data-stealing-spyware-vn84app-attacks-mobile-users-in-vietnam-652660.html

Sci-tech-environment

VN develops new rice variety for flood and drought-prone areas

New rice seed variety which is capable of adapting to climate change has been planted in flood and drought-prone regions in north and south central provinces.

VN develops new rice variety for flood and drought-prone areas
Agricultural experts check a rice field planted with new variety DCG72 in Nghe An Province. Photo doluong.gov.vn

The rice seed named DCG72 has a short growth period which is suitable for intensive cultivation of three crops per year.

The seed’s growth takes about 100 days, 10-12 days shorter than other seeds, said Prof. Dr. Pham Van Cuong, deputy director of the Vietnam Agricultural Academy, and one of the rice researchers.

This rice variety was also suitable for flood-affected areas in the north central region and drought-prone in the south central region, said Cuong.

Thanks to the short growth period, the early harvest should be able to avoid drought and saline intrusion at the end of the crop, he said.

“The farmers were very satisfied with the rice variety,” he said.

Along with the shorter growth period, the new variety has a high yield of 5.4 tonnes per ha and 4.9 tonnes per ha in the winter-spring and summer-autumn crops.

In addition, the rice variety is both resistant to common diseases on rice such as blight, brown leaf hoppers and rice blast caused by fungus.

The variety was experimentally planted on total area of nearly 1,000ha in seven northern and central provinces in 2018-19.

The rice variety DCG72 was recognised as a national rice variety in decision 5098/QD-BNN dated December 31, 2019.

In recent years, Vietnam has developed hybrid rice varieties thanks to support from the project of education and research enhancement at the Vietnam Agricultural Academy with Japan’s assistance.

Under the projects, many Vietnamese scientists were trained in Japan on breeding, physiology and cultivation techniques.

The variety DCG72 was produced under the co-operation project between Vietnam Agricultural Academy and Japan’s Kyushu University.  VNS

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/sci-tech-environment/new-rice-variety-for-flood-and-drought-prone-areas-656205.html

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Sci-tech-environment

Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park will become tech centre for Vietnam

Tran Dac Trung, deputy director of the Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park, speaks on the park’s plan to become a tech hub in Vietnam.

Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park will become tech centre for Vietnam
A view of the Hoa Lac High Tech Park. Plans have been submitted for the park to become a high tech centre of the whole country. The park has attracted 94 projects, many of them belong to high ranking domestic and foreign economic groups. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

What is the current status of the Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park?

The Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park has attracted 94 projects with total registered capital of VND89.3 billion (US$3.9 million), of which 52 projects are already in operation.

Among these projects, many of them belong to high ranking economic groups from Vietnamese and abroad, including the Japanese Nidec and Nissan Techno economic groups, the Vietnam-South Korean Science and Technology Institute, the Viettel Corporation, Vietnamese Post and Telecommunications (VNPT), Vingroup, FPT and others.

The Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park is now the home to some 9,000 students and 13,000 workers who are learning and working there. In addition, the park has also an R&D network specialised in the fields of information technology; telecommunication software; bio-technology; auto technology and others. In addition, high-tech equipment and spare parts are also manufactured there.

Last but not least, right now a start-up ecology is being established in the Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park. Hopefully, in the near future, the park will become a venue attracting resources needed to create a national park.

How will the Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park attract big investment?

The two most important criteria for any project to be established in the park – it must be in the field of high tech and its products are high tech. The requirements are already stated in the Vietnamese law. In the course of selecting investors, the park owner has come up with a rule “3 high’s: high in technology; high in investment capital and high in added value” and “3 low’s: low in environmental impact; low in the requirement of the labour force and low in energy consumption and raw materials”.

What has been achieved in the Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park is worthy of note, yet it has not yet met the set objectives. Why?

There are various reasons. A leading reason is that its infrastructure has not yet been completed. This has somehow affected the attraction of high-quality human resources to come and work in the park. Another factor which is also very important is the slow process of land clearance.

Right now, the Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park is in the process of selecting the most suitable projects to invest in the park, like universities; research projects and businesses whose financial support comes from the Government.

One of the key objectives of the Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park is to formulate new high-tech to contribute to national socio-economic development and to provide high tech skilled workers to the labour market.

What should we do to make the Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park a good nursery for high tech in Vietnam?

The park will have to have the latest high-tech infrastructure meeting demands from the investors while expanding co-operation with other universities, research institutes and enterprises from inside and outside Vietnam.

One of the key missions is that the Lang Hoa Lac High Tech Park will become a venue for science and technology activities through organising more training courses and research activities. In addition, the park will further complete its utility services to meet requirements from its clients. VNS/Hanoimoi

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/sci-tech-environment/lang-hoa-lac-high-tech-park-will-become-tech-centre-for-vietnam-654921.html

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Sci-tech-environment

OECMs promise a new conservation opportunity for Vietnam

A new conservation designation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) promises more opportunities for Vietnam to boost conservation work in the country, experts have said.

OECMs promise a new conservation opportunity for Vietnam
Species of rare primates with scientific name Pygathrix nemaeus nigripes are facing extinction in Vietnam. — Photo daidoanket.vn

The CBD, to which Vietnam is a party, has recently agreed a new conservation designation that complements protected areas and this is an opportunity for Vietnam to extend and connect the country’s conserved areas by identifying and legally recognising “other effective area-based conservation measures or OECMs,” according to Jake Brunner, head of the IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Indo-Burma Group.

Brunner highlighted the new step of the CBD and how Vietnam will benefit, saying that OECMs are a chance for Vietnam to both recognise the contributions to the conservation of biodiversity occurring outside of protected areas and to incentivise conservation outside of protected areas through recognition and support.

“Vietnam is home to several large agricultural dominated landscapes that include areas of high biodiversity value and/or are the target of restoration to reestablish natural ecosystem functions for climate change and biodiversity benefits. Within these landscapes there are opportunities to recognise OECMs,” Brunner said.

OECMs promise a new conservation opportunity for Vietnam
Rare birds in Dong Thap Muoi Natural Reserve are among the wild species that need urgent preservation. — VNA/VNS Photo Nam Thai

In a statement released last week on the website of the IUCN, the expert gave some examples of conservation areas that the country should be focusing on.

In the Mekong Delta, a key Government aim is to de-intensify rice production to reconnect the Mekong’s flood plain and restore ecosystem functions. 

“This opens up the possibility of transitioning hundreds of thousands of hectares in the upper delta out of the third or even second rice crop into higher value flood-friendly livelihoods. As well as increasing flood and drought resilience, this will restore capture fisheries and aquatic and agro-biodiversity. Parts of these restored areas may be recognised as OECMs,” added Brunner.

In Hanoi, Brunner pointed out an opportunity to convert the southern tip of Bai Giua Song Hong, the 300-hectare island in the middle of the Red River, into one of the city’s few green spaces. Some 300 species of birds have been recorded there. 

Meanwhile, Nguyen Duc Tu, a conservationist and head of IUCN Biodiversity Programme in Vietnam said OECM helps the country fulfill conservation commitments, and protects habitats with high biodiversity which are at high risk, such as isolated karst areas, seasonally inundated grasslands and coastal mudflats.

“OECMs also offer an opportunity to recognise contributions to biodiversity conservation by businesses and communities by improving the efficiency of the management of the land they are allowed to use,” according to Tu.

The expert said Vietnam has OECMs, such as “no-enter areas”; sacred areas, military zones, war ruins, and other “prohibited” areas (dependent); areas preserved by low-impact use, watershed protection areas, and wetlands related to ecosystem services (secondary); private land areas for conservation as the first purpose, and areas which cannot or don’t want to be registered as protected areas (primary).

In particular, it can improve biodiversity conservation of various sectors, including the business sector which is considered to be outside biodiversity conservation efforts; and supplement the list of CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities of businesses that have large land plots, ensuring biodiversity in development projects, Tu said.

The CBD, first being opened for signatures at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 and entered into force in December 1993, is a multilateral treaty, often seen as the key document regarding sustainable development with three main goals, including: the conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity); the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

Its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. 

Parties to the CBD adopted the OECM as well as its guiding principles, common characteristics and criteria for identification in November 2018.

Protected areas in Vietnam

In 2014, Prime Minister’s Decision 1976 proposed expanding coverage to 2.4 million hectares, or about 7 per cent of Vietnam’s land area, by 2020 and today coverage has almost reached this target. 

Nevertheless, there is little prospect of Vietnam legally protecting 17 per cent of its land area by 2020 as defined by CBD Target 11.

One reason for the slow-down in expanding the protected area network over the last 20 years is competition over land and water in a rapidly developing country of 96 million. 

Another factor is the limited funding available for protected area management. With resources stretched thin and management effectiveness already low, there is little appetite to add to the protected area coverage, according to the report.  VNS

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/sci-tech-environment/oecms-promise-a-new-conservation-opportunity-for-vietnam-654827.html

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