According to a report from Reuters, Vietnamese hackers have been targeting U.S. officials, including members of Congress, and occasionally members of the media, in a bid to influence domestic politics and policy. The Obama-era investigation uncovered a series of posts by the group on Twitter, Facebook, and Xanga, a now-defunct social networking site.
The posts, which included criticism of U.S. policy towards Vietnam, were designed to influence public opinion in the U.S. and potentially impact domestic policies. The investigation found that posts created by the group often contained “inflammatory” material designed to stir up public opposition to U.S. policies towards Vietnam. The group also sought to influence political discourse by posting pro-Vietnam messages on the accounts of known U.S. officials. In some cases, the hackers appear to have targeted journalists, especially those from CNN, in an effort to sway their coverage of the conflict in Vietnam.
Unfortunately, the ultimate reach of the hackers’ activity remains unclear. It is possible that they were able to affect the decision-making process of some U.S. officials, though the evidence for this is circumstantial. The full extent of their activities may never be known, as they have proven to be fairly adept at covering their tracks.