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Jul 27, 2021 / 16:44

Cyberattacks disrupt essential goods transportation to Covid hotspots in Vietnam

Cities and provinces nationwide are required to create favorable conditions for vehicles carrying essential goods to go through Covid-19 checkpoints as soon as possible.

The Ministry of Transport has proposed the Ministry of Public Security investigate and trace information of cyberattacks hitting the country’s QR code identity tag system, which allows vehicles carrying essential goods to travel through Covid-19 checkpoints in localities nationwide.

 Serious congestion at the checkpoint of Phap Van-Cau Gie BOT toll station, Hanoi on July 25. Photo: vov.vn

The cyberattacks must be strictly handled in accordance with the law, said the Ministry of Transport in its proposal sent to the Ministry of Public Security on July 27.

The ministry has also asked the Ministry of Information and Communication to support its Directorate for Roads of Viet Nam (DRVN) in technology infrastructure to ensure cybersecurity and prevent cyberattacks, and expertise during the system’s operational process.

In a document made on the same day, the ministry required cities and provinces nationwide to create favorable conditions for vehicles carrying essential goods to go through Covid-19 checkpoints in localities as the QR code identity tag system, which allows trucks to enter the country’s ‘green channel’, has been hacked.

The system has been hacked and overloaded since July 26 after several cities and provinces, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, have imposed stricter social distancing measures to prevent the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Nguyen Van Huyen, Director General of DRVN, said that many cyberattacks hit data storage servers at http://luongxanh.drvn.gov.vn, disrupting the vehicle owners’ online registration process to enter the ‘green channel’.

These attacks have caused the QR code system suspended and interrupted, making local departments failing to approve the application. Meanwhile, many transport units could not access the system to register the application.

The attacks come from dynamic IP addresses with an aim of sabotaging and paralyzing the system. The hackers and the location of these attacks have not been identified.

In Hanoi, the problem has become even more serious as there is a large number of vehicles registered for the ‘green channel’. After three days of applying stricter social distancing measures and the QR code identity tag system for vehicles, more than 20,000 applications for QR codes were sent, but the Hanoi Department of Transport has only issued some 7,000 cards.

According to the Ministry of Transport, over the past time, the national ‘green channel’ card registration system has been operated continuously to issue QR code cards for transport vehicles. Thanks to the national ‘green channel’, essential goods vehicles can easily pass through checkpoints, limiting the impact on the supply of goods to people amid the pandemic.

Phan Thi Thu Hien, Deputy General Director of DRVN, said the QR code identity tag system for vehicles running on the national ‘green channel’ has basically returned to normal operation.

“Experts of Viettel Group and An Vui Company have jointly monitored the system's operation to promptly handle problems and support identity card issuers,” Hien said.

Regarding the delay in granting the QR code cards in Hanoi, Hien said the Hanoi Department of Transport’s issuance is overloaded. The DRVN has allocated the volume of applications for this card to 18 other departments of Transport in the northern region to support Hanoi.

“By the end of today (July 27), this situation will be basically solved,” Hien said.