Two Vietnam experts honoured at popular Pwn2Own Tokyo hacking competition

Two Vietnamese experts from the Viettel Cyber Security Company under the the Military Industry-Telecoms Group (Viettel) - Ngo Anh Huy and Do Quang Thanh – have been honoured at the Pwn2Own Tokyo 2020 contest, reported NDO.
December 17, 2020 | 07:11
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Two Vietnam experts honoured at popular Pwn2Own Tokyo hacking competition
At this year’s event, which was held virtually, the two Vietnamese experts were able to hijack SmartTV through the default browser on Samsung and Sony TVs. Source:

Organised annually by the prestigious TrendMicro cyber security software company since 2007, Pwn2Own is one of the world's largest cyber-attack competitions.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition has been turned into a virtual event and white hat hackers taking part in the competition have to demonstrate their ability to find and exploit vulnerabilities in a broad range of devices.

It typically focuses on devices like mobile phones, televisions, smart speakers, and wireless routers – physical devices that can make it problematic to go completely digital.

The contest aims to detect security vulnerabilities in smart devices so that manufacturers can immediately fix them, thus helping to keep client information safe.

On the day one of the competition, bug bounty hunters have successfully hacked a vulnerability in the NETGEAR Nighthawk R7800 router. The participants were the Team Black Coffee, Team Flashback, and teams from cybersecurity firms Starlabs and Trapa Security, and the Team Flashback earned $20,000 for a remote code execution exploit that resulting from the chaining of two bugs in the WAN interface, according to the post on the official site of the Pwn2Own Tokyo 2020.

In the afternoon, the Viettel Cyber Security team targeted a Samsung smart TV, the Samsung Q60T television, obtaining partial success due to the use of a known vulnerability.

“The Viettel Team was able to get a reverse shell on a fully patched Samsung TV, but it was done using a known bug. This counts as a partial win, but it does net them 1 point towards Master of Pwn.” continues the post.

Two Vietnam experts honoured at popular Pwn2Own Tokyo hacking competition
Viettel Cyber Security's personnel. Source: Hang Tran/BNEWS/VNA

Previously, Do Quang Thanh, born in 1996, was named in the 2018 list of top security researchers by Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Ngo Anh Huy, born in 1989, a network security expert who has detected more than 40 security vulnerabilities on the platforms of leading technology firms such as Google, Oracle, and Foxit.

The Viettel Cyber Security Company, a subsidiary of Viettel, made debut in 2019.

This company, set up on the basis of the Viettel cyber security centre, is tasked with researching and developing information security solutions, products and services.

It also provides cyber security solutions, detect loopholes, and deal with information security incidents at ministries, localities and businesses.

Viettel is among just a few mobile services providers in the world that have developed 5G equipment and deployed 5G networks successfully at the same time. Its deployment of a commercial 5G mobile network has marked a new development phase in Vietnam’s telecommunications industry. It has also proved that Vietnam has conquered the new telecommunication technology and caught up with the world’s technologically advanced countries./.

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