Gmail.vn users misled to Chinese website address

VietNamNet Bridge – When accessing Gmail.vn, Vietnamese Internet users were so surprised when they were led to a website of Baidu, China’s biggest Internet service firm.






Instead of a Gmail box to appear on the screen, Vietnamese Internet users were led to a quite new address vn.hao123.com – a website directory service of Baidu.

A lot of readers called to editorial boards complaining that they could not access to gmail.vn, because when they typed the words, they were automatically driven to a service launched into the market by Chinese Baidu last June.

Dan tri newspaper has found out that the Gmail.vn domain name belongs to the Kien Cuong International Joint Stock Company, headquartered in Hanoi. The domain name was registered in 2006 and has expired since August 16.

However, though the domain name has expired, one would see that the domain name is still leading to the server owned by Kien Cuong Company (the Gmail.vn has the same IP address with the domain name of Kien Cuong company’s homepage).

As such, Dan tri has affirmed that the company is still holding the domain name. The latest update of the domain name was reportedly made on August 18.

There is a noteworthy thing is that when accessing to the domain name Gmail.vn, instead of being led to the homepage of Hao123 service of Baidu, the domain name would indicate to the website with the link vn.hao123.com/tmvn.html. Internet users have made a wild guess that “tmvn” could be the abbreviation of “ten mien Vietnam” (Vietnamese domain names).

Therefore, it is very likely that Baidu holds the right to control the Gmail.vn domain name.

GenK has also cited domestic sources as saying if a process of transferring the ownership of Gmail.vn from Kien Cuong to Baidu is being carried out.

A member of HVA, considered the biggest security forum in Vietnam, said Hao123, the software to create the shortcut of the website on users’ desktops contains the risk of opening the backdoor allowing hackers to penetrate and hijack users’ computers.

Prior to that, a similar problem had also been found with TTPLayer, a music listening software of Baidu. The software piece allows interfering automatically into the users’ computers to install unwanted applications, containing the risks of opening the backdoor to hackers.

An executive of Kien Cuong Company, in the meeting with Dan tri reporters, admitted that Kien Cuong owns the domain name Gmail.vn. However, the company declined to make comments about the information about the domain name.

The name “Baidu” has become more popular to Vietnamese some months ago, when the Internet users’ community warned about the existence of a Chinese social network, which was believed to be a threat to Vietnamese social networks. Information technology experts have voiced their concerns about the latent risks to be caused by the Chinese social network.

An expert said Gmail.vn is really a “special case”, because Google has been well known for its strict management over the domain names relating to the brand.

In May 2012, Google revoked 750 domain names relating to the brand. Prior to that, Google had made registration to obtain the important domain names such as Youtube, Gmail, and the domain names with the phrases of words similar with the name of Google.

Experts have warned that the automatic misleading to a Chinese service website could be a danger if the website is redirected to a forged website with the interface similar to Gmail’s while users’ passwords may be stolen.

Compiled by Thu Uyen

 
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