The country wants to join the global fight against cyber-terrorism.
Vietnam wants to join the international community to tackle cyber attacks that can cause damage to national security, said Le Hai Binh, Vietnam’s foreign ministry spokesman in a statement on Thursday.
The move comes after screens displaying flight information and loudspeakers at the international airports in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City were taken over on July 29 by hackers to broadcast messages insulting Vietnam and the Philippines over their stance on the dispute in the South China Sea, or the East Sea as it is known in Vietnam.
“All cyber attacks must be condemned and punished,” Binh said. “Vietnamese authorities have taken swift measures to ensure security and safety at its airports, and cyber police are investigating the incident.”
The screens and the sound systems at the airports had to be switched off, said the country’s civil aviation authority.
The official website of Vietnam Airlines also came under attack with the same derogatory slogans that appeared on the airports’ screens. The customer database of 400,000 members of Vietnam Airlines’ frequent fliers club, Golden Lotus, was hacked and the names and other personal information of customers were later leaked on the internet.
The hack affected some 100 flights which were delayed by between 15 minutes and two hours, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) said in a statement, after the attack interrupted the airports electronic check-in systems.
Security at the airports was tightened shortly after the attack, the CAAV added.
The hackers claimed to be a group known as 1937CN from China, which has a history of hacking websites in Vietnam and the Philippines.