Last week, the Google Online Security Blog took note of a recent cyberattack against people using Vietnamese language software.
The malware came in the form of Vietnamese language keyboard drivers for Windows PCs.
According to a post by Neel Mehta of the Google security team, infected machines were used both to spy on the users and to create a botnet that participated in DDOS attacks against political blogs.
Mehta specifically mentioned blogs expressing opposition to bauxite mining initiatives in Vietnam, an effort supported by the government but opposed by some citizens. The post also linked the attacks (in character, not in practice) to the recent cyberattacks originating in China.
A related post by McAfee CTO George Kurtz on the McAfee Security Insights Blog offered more information.
According to Kurtz, the botnet was instigated late last year and started with an attack on www.vps.org, the Web site of the Vietnamese Professionals Society.
For more on the attack and Vietnam's reaction, see Page 2.
That's where the substitution of the infected keyboard driver took place. Following that, targeted individuals received e-mails directing them to download the malware from the VPS site.
Kurtz explicitly alleged that "the perpetrators may have political motivations and may have some allegiance to the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam."
Today, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted an explicit denial on its website.
The statement reads, "In response to question from the media concerning Vietnam's reaction to comments on Google Online Security Blog that malware has targeted at Vietnamese computers users, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Nga on 3 April 2010, 2010 said: 'Such comments are groundless.
'We have on many occasions clearly expounded our view on issues relating to access to and use of information and information technology, including the Internet. Vietnam law puts in place specific regulations against computer virus and malware as well as on information security and confidentiality.'"