“South China Sea is China’s inherent territory”, distilled a voice on screens. However, the message was screened out of flight information monitors and sound systems of Vietnam’s two major airports, Hanoi-Noi Bai and Ho Chi Minh City-Tan Son Nhat. The attack was conducted on Friday against the two airports as well as against Vietnam Airlines and was allegedly driven by Chinese hackers reported Vietnamese media. At Danang International Airport, the country third largest air facility, repeated glitches happened as well at the computer system.
Vietnam Airlines VIP passenger section on the airline’s web had also been hacked carrying the same kind of messages. Hackers managed to steal and leak data of some 411,000 customers according to Vietnamese media.
The incident occurred after the International Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague (Netherlands) ruled on July 12 in favour of the Philippines that brought China to court over Beijing’s groundless claims to territories of the South China Sea (renamed East Vietnam Sea in Vietnam).
The act created some troubles for passengers at all airports. According to Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat confirmed to Tuoi Tre local newspaper all the 21 airports of the country had to switch passengers’ check-in to manual procedures which created flight delays instead of using computers. The Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT) is now looking to strengthen security at all major public computer systems. A warning issued was submitted to all local departments of information and communications and to IT teams at other state agencies on Saturday.