The success of the team at Pwn2Own Toronto was not a coincidence – it was the result of over a decade of planning by Viettel’s leaders to strengthen the information security industry in Southeast Asia.

VCS’s entry into the international cybersecurity arena began in 2011, when its first group started focusing on finding vulnerabilities in network security.

“As a company responsible for operating critical information infrastructures, Viettel has always considered cybersecurity as a crucial part of our strategy,” said Nguyen Son Hai, the current director of VCS and a member of the original team.

“In the realm of cybersecurity, humans are the most important factor. Even with the latest devices, end users are still at a high risk of cyberattacks. Similarly, Viettel Group’s key infrastructures, such as telecommunications and internet networks, are constantly targeted by the world’s most notorious hackers.”

Featured in this provided photo are some of the accomplished members of Viettel Cyber Security Team.

Since 2015, VCS has trained over 450 students in network security, but only the top five percent have been offered the opportunity to join VCS.

“Apart from building a team of experts and conducting in-depth research, we continue to allocate resources to enhance the team’s vulnerability exploitation skills. Our participation in world-class cybersecurity competitions aligns with this objective,” explained Hai.

In 2013, VCS focused on exploring ‘zero-day vulnerabilities’ – previously unknown and unresolved flaws.

Anh Huy and Hong Quang, two members of VCS, were among the first to take on this challenge. Their work led to the discovery of their first zero-day vulnerability in 2015, and they have since discovered an additional 400 vulnerabilities.

“No other Vietnamese company has achieved such success, and there are very few global companies that can boast similar achievements,” claimed Hai.

These successes have strengthened VCS’s reputation in the local tech community and attracted numerous young technology experts to join the team.

“Human capital is the most important factor in cybersecurity,” reiterated Hai.

“Therefore, VCS has consistently prioritized the training, improvement, and development of skilled experts ready to tackle international challenges.”

Viettel Cyber Security Team has evolved into an attractive workplace for numerous young information technology engineers in Vietnam.

Tao Duc Thang, the president and general director of Viettel Group, expressed pride in Viettel’s ‘white-hat hackers’ during a ceremony honoring the VCS team for their championship at Pwn2Own Toronto 2023.

“Viettel is immensely proud of the VCS team for winning a prestigious international prize in the field of cybersecurity, competing against world-leading equipment manufacturers and major research and development units,” said Thang.

During his speech, Thang explained that Pwn2Own is a battle against manufacturers with the best security teams in the world, always ready to face off against hackers until the end.

The contest has few rules and even allows for multinational collaborations, according to Thang.

“The championship at Pwn2Own 2023 has not only elevated Viettel’s reputation but also raised Vietnam’s profile on the world stage,” he added.

According to Thang, cybersecurity is a vast and challenging field that presents long-term obstacles for Viettel’s experts.

“Maintaining the top position is not easy; therefore, we must continuously refine our skills and have a grand vision to transform dreams into reality and put Vietnam prominently on the world map of technology,” said Thang, emphasizing that Viettel has specific policies to foster a high-quality workforce and ensure their well-being within the organization.

Collaborating with VCS, Thang highlighted the unit’s active promotion of cybersecurity expert growth through targeted training.

In his view, this mission benefits not only Viettel Group but also the nation in safeguarding against risks in the dynamic landscape of the internet.