Vietnamese news websites were down due to a power outage occurring at the data center of the host company, Vietnam Communications Corporation (VCCorp). Online newspapers such as giadinh.net.vn, nld.com.vn, and dantri.com.vn were inaccessible, as well as newswires soha.vn, cafeF.vn, vccorp.vn, kenh14.vn, and genk.vn – all powered by VCCorp. Readers attempting to visit the website received the message “Data center is experiencing problems. Please come back later.” The outage also affected the Google AdSense’s ad services, disabling them on the platforms.
While the general director of VCCorp originally attributed the outage to a technical glitch at the company’s data center, third party involvement was recently discovered after a joint investigation. What was strange about this particular attack is that it did not just target user information or change interfaces. The hackers actually went into the database and purposefully deleted all of VCCorp’s data in such a manner that would make it very difficult for the network administrators to retrieve it. While the sites were up and running again within a day or two max, this cyber attack was the largest ever reported in Vietnam, with the most severe damage to date.