A Vietnamese cyber group called Ocean Lotus has been able to spy on opposition activists in Germany for years. Both German and Vietnamese citizens are affected. In one case it even hit a journalist who writes for a daily newspaper about Vietnam.
The Attack Usually Takes Place With Fake Emails
A known sender, a suitable text and hidden in the attachment: malware that allows the attacker to spy on the PC. The research shows that the hackers have set up many websites in the past few years to carry out their attacks. The hackers sometimes have full knowledge of the people they are targeting. So they knew the travel plans of a blogger from Vietnam for example. They sent him an email posing as the host of a conference that he was going to attend. Malware with the aim of spying on the blogger.
Research suggests that the cyber group is acting in the interests of the Vietnamese government. Security experts see it that way too.They are talking about the cyber attack of a fully functioning state, which is able to fulfill a wide range of assignments. Ocean Lotus is interested in certain people with a background and that is one of the reasons why experts see a clear relation to Vietnam.
Vietnam itself denies the hacking attacks. The accusations are unfounded, writes the embassy in Berlin. “Attacks and threats to security must be condemned and severely punished in accordance with the provisions of the law. ” Vietnam is always ready to work with the community to fight cyberattacks.
Contact Point For Victims
Cyber attacks like the one by Ocean Lotus should not be that easy in Germany. When people come here to seek protection, they must be able to expect that they are safe here. So far, those involved have had to trust that the authorities are taking the problem seriously.