Many websites with the domain .gov.vn were found to be displaying sophisticated advertisements for gambling and betting games.
Ads for money-making card games, online casinos, and sports betting appear on websites with domain names ending in .gov.vn of some local portals such as Department of Health of Hoa Binh, Women’s Union of Nam Dinh, Department of Science and Technology of Binh Phuoc… These contents are hidden in the branch page, not on the homepage.
When searching on Google, advertising links will appear densely. Most of the links lead to gambling advertising pages even though the domain name is still .gov.vn. Search results show that the first time the ad showed on this domain was from March 18.
A representative of a domain name management agency said that two years ago the website they managed was also used to advertise illegally. However, this time they were attacked in a more sophisticated way, because if they visit the homepage or do a normal Google search, there will be no ads, only when entering the right keywords will the website be discovered. for evil purposes.
Tran Thanh Tuan, an information technology expert in Ho Chi Minh City, said that the common point of these websites is that they still use the protocol. http. This is an old protocol that does not have an SSL security certificate integrated, so there are many vulnerabilities, easy to be attacked and taken advantage of by bad guys. Website source code is also outdated, using old technology, not regularly updating new versions or security patches. In addition, the website may have vulnerabilities in the initial implementation but not thoroughly tested.
According to this expert, the advertising of illegal gambling is subtly embedded in websites .gov.vn may be due to a number of other reasons such as the website administrator, the password server setting is too easy for hackers to detect. Nor does it rule out the possibility that this is an attack from the general system.
In this case of running ads, hackers can embed backlinks (links returned from websites) for search engine optimization. Website Backlinks .gov.vn It is popular among SEOs because it is considered reputable by Google. If content appears on these pages, search rankings will be higher. “More dangerously, hackers can take advantage of the resources of the server hosting the website to perform other acts such as mining cryptocurrencies, using server resources to do a denial of service attack, or deploying an underground website.” , Mr. Tuan warned.
This is not the first time that ads for card games have appeared on websites .gov.vn. Two years ago, a number of local websites were also taken advantage of. Security experts believe that in the past, only hacked sites could patch, while some other parties did not check and upgrade, so this time they continued to be attacked in the old way.
Domain .gov.vn for state agencies and units within the organizational structure of state agencies. To have this domain name, agencies and organizations need to make registration documents and get approval from Vietnam Internet Center VNNIC before licensing.
VNNIC representative confirmed that the above websites are licensed for the right users. “With domains .gov.vn, VNNIC has implemented national DNS protection solutions, helping domain names not to be arbitrarily changed specifications, avoiding unintended interference. However, in terms of content management, the website will still have unexpected problems with all domains, not just the extension. .gov.vn. This is something that domain name owners have to self-manage, with security monitoring measures attached,” a VNNIC representative said.
Vietnam Internet Center said it is reviewing websites .gov.vn to analyze the possible risks and send warnings to the units being licensed to use. VNNIC’s statistics show that Vietnam currently has more than 2,000 websites using domain names .gov.vn.
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