Google Detects Malware Targeting Vietnam Dissidents

    March 31, 2010

Google said it has detected malware targeting Vietnamese-language users opposed to bauxite mining in the Communist country.

The malware infected the computers of "potentially tens of thousands of users" who downloaded Vietnamese keyboard language software, Google Security Team member Neel Mehta wrote on the company’s security blog. The attacks targeted opposition to the mining of bauxite, an ore used to make aluminum.

Google-Vietnam "While the malware itself was not especially sophisticated, it has nonetheless been used for damaging purposes," Mehta wrote.

"These infected machines have been used both to spy on their owners as well as participate in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against blogs containing messages of political dissent. Specifically, these attacks have tried to squelch opposition to bauxite mining efforts in Vietnam, an important and emotionally charged issue in the country."

Google recommends users who believe they may have been exposed to malware to run regular anti-virus and anti-spyware scans from trusted vendors.