Vietnamese protect themselves from Chinese spy technologies

VietNamNet Bridge – Many people have become more vigilant about their mobile devices sourced from China after hearing that the devices may contain spyware.

Commercial banks have reportedly spent big money to prevent Chinese card crimes. on July 19 reported that IMA Mobile, a research team from Hong Kong, discovered spyware readily installed in Redmi Note, a smartphone model made by Xiaomi, a well-known Chinese manufacturer.

The spyware can automatically backup the data in smartphones, including SMS, images and multimedia content and send the information to servers in China. The information can be sent when the smartphones have a wifi connection, but cannot be sent if the devices are in 3G mode.

The website quoted the research team as saying that the Redmi Note versions are available in the markets of Hong Kong, Taiwan and China. They all have been installed with the spyware which cannot be removed because it is integrated into the firmware.

Redmi Note and dozens of other smartphone models made by Xiaomi are displayed at nearly all smartphone shops in Vietnam.

Hoang Ha, who has bought a Xiaomi brand smartphone, said he would throw the phone away, even though it is unclear if the spyware found in Redmi Note is installed in the smartphone model.

The owner of a smartphone shop in Hanoi said that Xiaomi smartphones available at his shop, like at other shops, are not imports through official channels.

The products are brought to Vietnam through unofficial channels, which means that they are unclear about the origin of the products.

As such, it is highly possible that the smartphones come from these markets that have installed spyware. China and Taiwan have been important supply sources of mobile devices for Vietnam.

Most of the shops in Vietnam now quote a price of VND4.7-4.9 million for Xiaomi Redmi Note. The device has a large screen of 5.5 inches, an 8-core chip MediaTek with the processing speed of 1.7GHz, 2GB RAM, 8GB memory, 13 megapixel main camera and 5 megapixel subordinate camera.

Xiaomi also has many other products available in Vietnam, including Xiaomi Redmi 1S priced at VND3.2 million, Xiaomi M2 VND5 million and Xiaomi M3 VND8 million.

Xiaomi is considered the Chinese Apple. The manufacturer still does not have representatives in Vietnam, but in a statement released in April 2014, the manufacturer will be present in Vietnam and nine other markets in the world in 2014.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese commercial banks, who have been warned against Chinese high-technology crimes, say they have to spend big money to protect customers’ benefits.

A senior executive of NCB Bank said banks now tend to equip their automatic telling machines (ATMs) with anti-skimming devices and cameras which can help prevent card crimes. An anti-skimming device costs $150-1,000, while a camera is priced at VND15 million.

As such banks will have to spend VND20 million at least on every ATM. A bank, which has 1,000 ATMs, would have to pay VND20 billion. If noting that there are some 15,300 ATMs nationwide, one can see that the “price of safety” is very high.

Buu Dien

Chinese spy technologies, Xiaomi