“My friends 10 people followed this path, 7 of them left”
In 2018, Dao Trong Nghia joined VCS after winning the Student with Information Security contest. The 3rd year student of FPT University has a burning desire: to learn about machines to the fullest. Meaning, the research objective is selected as the operating system (OS) Windows, the oldest product in software today.
But Nghia did not expect that it took more than 3 years for him to discover the first flaw.
“Doing only one job for so long still has no results, sometimes I want to be depressed. Many times I feel that I am not capable enough to continue.”
Nghia’s friends have more than 10 people who also pursue the same goal as him, so far, most of them have fallen. Fortunately, while Nghia was desperate, a man at VCS was able to encourage him. “Mr. Ngo Anh Huy – who reported a lot of vulnerabilities to Google, Oracle… told me: This is bad luck, but somehow it still has bugs, so just do it”.
A simple sentence like that made Nghia wake up. Looking back at Microsoft’s monthly reports, he saw that there were always details, big and small, discovered by individuals and security companies around the world.
One day in the late autumn of 2021, Nghia had just brought her car out of the office when her toenail was knocked off by her foot. He took 2 days off. During the holidays, Nghia accidentally discovered an important Windows vulnerability.
In fact, Meaning discovered was more than a single flaw. The young expert of VCS has found a number of operating mechanisms of the Windows OS that can lead to a series of security errors. After that, Nghia registered with many large and small security errors at the deepest level of this OS.
“If it weren’t for Viettel, I wouldn’t have found any holes!”
When he first joined Viettel, Nghia spent 50% of the time researching and detecting vulnerabilities. 50% of the time is left to do VCS projects. Strangely, there is no other place that wholeheartedly allows employees to work freely according to their preferences like VCS. The projects Nghia participates in are the work of analyzing bugs that have been published monthly by Microsoft. Then he reproduced the error on the old version for the purpose of learning. Through such tasks, Nghia’s skills and skills gradually improved.
All vulnerabilities are very difficult, there is not a single document in the world to refer to, but completely rely on yourself. The work is difficult but in return the working environment at VCS is quite comfortable. Company leaders allow to share less work for everyone in the team so that you can study wholeheartedly.
The company also often organizes connections between employees and world-renowned organizations and experts in security to share knowledge and hone skills. Even when you have a need to research about technological equipment in the world, the company also ensures enough facilities and equipment.
“I think it’s that comfort that gives us creative motivation. If I hadn’t worked at Viettel, I might not have discovered any 0-day vulnerabilities,” Nghia shared.
The person who helped Vietnam win the first high rank in the world’s largest cyber security contest
If you are a technology person, especially working in the cybersecurity industry, everyone will know about the cult competition Pwn2Own Vancouver, the most prestigious global competition on network security. Here, the world’s biggest technology companies: Microsoft, Google, VMWare… will bring the most advanced products, challenging the world’s top security researchers to attack.
Professionals don’t just need to infiltrate successfully. The most important thing is that they have to exploit the vulnerability, clearly pointing out the “fatal” flaws of the “big” technology. The bigger the error, the higher the score and the reward is commensurate.
In 2021, VCS has 2 representatives to participate in the contest, namely Dao Trong Nghia and Pham Van Khanh, the top 100 security players in the world in 2021 announced by Microsoft. Overcoming thousands of competitors from many countries, including leading countries in cybersecurity such as China, USA, Russia, UK, France… Nghia won 2 Windows Kernel categories. Together with his colleague Pham Van Khanh, Nghia contributed to helping VCS rank 5th in the world.
For the first time, the name of a Vietnamese company was named in such a high position. The VCS brand once again affirms its leading position in Vietnam in its in-depth expertise in security, reinforcing the trust of customers when choosing VCS products and services.
The 24-year-old has had many outstanding achievements, which is highly appreciated by friends and professionals at home and abroad, but when talking about all the past milestones, Nghia is very humble. “The happiest thing for me when I won the Pwn2Own Vancouver competition was simply having a drink in the middle of the night (laughs).”
That said, he never felt better than anyone in this competition. “Winning or getting a high rank in a competition is not enough to prove that you are better than anyone. Compared to my colleagues in the leading countries in technology, I feel that I still have a lot to learn from them.”