HANOI: One hour. That is all the time it takes to build malicious software that can access the camera, messages, calls, storage, microphone, location, contacts — nearly everything — on a victim’s phone.
And cyber threat hunter Ngo Minh Hieu finds more than half a million of such malware apps created every day, in his work for Vietnam’s National Cyber Security Centre.
Vietnam saw a 64 per cent rise in online fraud in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year, according to the country’s Authority of Information Security.
A growing number of incidents in the last five years are related to malware, said Nguyen Quang Dong, the director of the Institute for Policy Studies and Media Development.
The flurry of fraudulent activity has landed Vietnam among the world’s top 10 cybercrime hotspots according to the Global Tech Council, the programme Talking Point found as it investigated who might be behind the malware scams that have emerged in Singapore this year.
FORMER SCAMMER BECOMES CYBER THREAT HUNTER
Between January and August, more than 1,400 victims in Singapore lost at least S$20.6 million in total, police said.
The perpetrators linked to malware scams have mostly played the role of money mules, said Ang Hua Huang, assistant superintendent at the newly operationalised anti-scam command centre run by the Singapore Police Force.
There have been teenagers arrested for suspected involvement.
WATCH: Who are the people behind malware scams? (21:58)