Daily Reading 6/6

Vietnamese hackers earn VND1 billion a month selling Facebook accounts

Vietnamese hackers earn VND1 billion a month selling Facebook accounts

Daily Reading by Thao Nguyen – 06.06.2019

Original Article:  Vietnamese hackers earn VND1 billion a month selling Facebook accounts


VietNamNet Bridge – Hackers are creating phishing (lừa đảo) pages and websites with interfaces (giao diện) similar to Facebook’s, to steal users’ names and passwords.

“An experienced hacker can collect 10,000 users’ accounts a day. Each account is priced at VND3,000-5,000. This means they can earn VND1 billion a month by selling the ‘corpses’ (a dead body) of these accounts,” said Tri Duc, an IT expert who works in the US and monitors many Vietnamese groups of hackers. Experts see the tricks as only ‘rudimentary (thô sơ) traps’, but tens of thousands of users fall into that trap every day. “Not everyone is vigilant (thận trọng) enough, especially those who often use dubious (đáng ngờ, thiếu minh bạch) applications. The websites with pornographic (khiêu dâm) content may have latent risks,” Duc said. Vietnamese hackers also hijack (chiếm đoạt) international accounts for different purposes. Facebook recently allowed Vietnamese users to connect personal accounts to create fanpages. This feature has been exploited by hackers for a long time. Hackers also prefer Indonesian accounts because of the ease (sự dễ dàng) and the high number of people in the country.

Selling ‘bogus’ accounts

After hijacking a user’s account, hackers change the names and replace the avatar with images of Vietnamese “hot” girls, then make friends with thousands of people. The “raw” accounts, after changes in names and cover images, are called by Vietnamese hackers “change” accounts. They then se these accounts to create pages, and friends will become page followers. They then combine the numbers of ‘likes’ from the pages. “The fanpages with millions of likes are sometimes offered for sale on MMO websites. Despite efforts made, Facebook still cannot settle the problem,” said Le Minh Hiep, who called himself a Facebook service provider. Also according to Hiep, hacked accounts can be used to gain Facebook’s confidence. In general, Facebook will trust accounts that have been operating for years and updating regularly. Once gaining confidence, the accounts will have a higher success rate in creating ads and sending spam messages than newly created accounts.

In addition, hacked accounts will be used as ‘zombies’ for trading likes, comments and video views.“Some veteran hackers now own 3-4 million accounts of this type. They are sold to serve the tricks that dodge (lách, né tránh) Facebook’s rules,” Hiep said. In related news, a large number of Vietnamese online businesses utilising (sử dụng) the social network as a trading platform has been affected as Facebook has just blocked API. Blocking API is believed to be a move to reaffirm (xác nhận lại) the apology after the scandal of Cambridge Analytica company breaking into 50 million users’ personal information.

Vocab Highlights:

Phishing:  an attempt to trick someone into giving information over the internet or by email that would allow someone else to take money out of their bank account

=> Phishing emails can look as if they come from a real bank email address.

Interface: the way a computer program presents information to a user or receives information from a user, in particular the layout of the screen and the menus

=> the user interface

Corpse: a dead body, especially of a human

=> The corpse was barely recognizable.

Rudimentary: dealing with only the most basic matters or ideas

=> They were given only rudimentary training in the job

Vigilant: very careful to notice any signs of danger or trouble

=> The thief was spotted by vigilant neighbours

dubious (about something)/(about doing something) (of a person) not certain and slightly suspicious about something; not knowing whether something is good or bad

=> I was rather dubious about the whole idea.

Pornographic: intended to make people feel sexually excited by showing naked people or sexual acts, usually in a way that many other people find offensive

=> pornographic movies/magazines

Hijack: to use violence or threats to take control of a vehicle, especially a plane, in order to force it to travel to a different place or to demand something from a government

=> The plane was hijacked by two armed men on a flight from London to Rome.

Ease: lack of difficulty

=> He passed the exam with ease.

Dodge: to avoid doing something, especially in a dishonest way

=> He dodged his military service.

Utilise: to use something, especially for a practical purpose

=> Vitamin C helps the body utilise the iron present in your body.

Reaffirm: to state something again in order to emphasize that it is still true

=> The President reaffirmed his commitment to democratic elections.