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An activist group inside Vietnam and around the world has accused the Vietnam’s communist government of launching a cyber-attack which has crippled its website.
The group, The Vietnam Reform Party also known as “Viet Tan”, following their site, www.viettan.org, going down (still down at time of writing) released a statement saying, “Beginning on August 13, hackers launched a sustained attack against www.viettan.org”.
Viet Tan, which campaigns for peaceful political change in the authoritarian state, specifically blamed Hanoi saying the “Hanoi government’s firewall” was lifted to allow a “botnet”, or network of compromised computers, to take down the Viet Tan website
“This is further evidence that the communist authorities of Vietnam are behind the on-going hacker attacks against pro-democracy websites and blogs”, it said.
Vietnamese officials could not be reached for comment.
Viet Tan said the attack was a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) operation — a favoured tactic of hactivist group Anonymous. The group also said of the attack, that it was carried out by a botnet using 77 000 internet protocol addresses, most of which originated in Vietnam.
Since early last year rights activists and other observers have accused Vietnam of using cyber attacks in a more aggressive stance towards politically sensitive internet sites.
Vietnamese users of Facebook have also reported difficulties in accessing the social networking site.
The alleged attack on Viet Tan’s website occurs shortly after a member of the group was jailed for three years by a court in Ho Chi Minh City. French-Vietnamese lecturer and blogger Pham Minh Hoang, 56, was convicted of attempted subversion, a decision France said it deeply regretted.
According to Hanoi, internet use has grown rapidly in Vietnam, with more than 30 percent of the population online. However, according to the OpenNet Initiative, access to the net in Vietnam is heavily regulated and Reporters Without Borders classifies Vietnam as an “enemy of the internet“. — AFP
Image: Wikimedia Commons