Chinese hackers accused of attacks on Vietnam websites

HANOI: Chinese hackers were suspected of targeting Vietnamese websites, security experts said Thursday, as tensions over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea moved into cyberspace.

Around 150 Vietnamese sites, mostly belonging to the government and education groups, were hacked in the past week, according to a report by WhiteHat, a local computer security forum.

More than 1,300 hacks have been reported since last weekend, when a regional security conference in Singapore featured international criticism of Chinese land reclamation and construction on parts of the disputed Spratly Islands between the Philippines and Vietnam.

Hackers left many messages on Vietnam sites related to the South China Sea dispute, according to WhiteHat, a forum set up by top Vietnamese security firm Bkav.

More than 200 Philippine sites were also hacked, it said.

China claims most of the South China Sea as its own territory, although Beijing's actions have been criticized by Vietnam, the Philippines and other regional claimants. – dpa