The airport public information systems at Vietnam’s two busiest airports were hacked to display messages criticising the country’s territory claims in the South China Sea.
Flight information display screens and their associated sound systems at Hanoi (IATA: HAN) and Ho Chi Minh City / Tan Son Nhat (IATA: SGN) airports broadcast anti-Vietnamese and Philippines slogans on July 22. Vietnam Airlines said its website was also briefly hacked.
The Vietnamese Government said a Chinese computer hacker was responsible and local media reports said that airport staff had to revert to manual check-in processes until the associated computer problems were resolved.
Vietnamese media sources say the display system hack came just days after a complaint involving a Chinese tourist at SGN.
Chinese authorities asked their Vietnamese counterparts to investigate claims that a Chinese visitor’s passport was handed back with obscenities written on two of its pages, one of which showed a map that marks China’s claim to territories in the South China Sea. China claims almost all of the islands within the South China Sea, including some also claimed by other nations. China has said it does not recognise an international tribunal ruling that said its claims have no legal basis.