Criminals and fraudsters are being blamed for the worldwide wave of e-mails unleashed by a new computer virus. \nThe Sobig.F virus, which first appeared on Monday, has entered the record books as the fastest spreading infection of its type, generating tens of millions of e-mails in three days, clogging up inboxes and bringing many computer systems to a standstill. \nAt its peak, between Tuesday and Wednesday, IT security firms estimate that the virus generated as many as one in 17 of every e-mail sent worldwide. \nExperts suspect the virus installs a program that attempts to download a further malicious program from the Internet -- nicknamed malware -- which acts as a secret server for routing unsolicited "spam" e-mails such as those advertising pornography or quack remedies. It may also forward credit card details and passwords. \n"We think there is a big tie-in with spam sellers, who may be writing these viruses in order to find new machines that they can exploit to send more spam," said Alex Shipley, senior anti-virus technologist at MessageLabs security company. \nWhat makes the Sobig.F virus different from previous e-mail scares -- such as the so-called LoveBug virus and Klez worm -- has been its sudden appearance and rapid spread. \n"It's hard to say where it originated from; it exploded so suddenly that it may have been started using spammers' tools," said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, an anti-virus IT firm. \nIndications are that the virus first appeared in the US, being posted to a number of sex and erotica news groups late on Monday night. Within an hour the first infected e-mails had appeared in inboxes. \nThe sudden upsurge may have been helped by a commercial spammer sending out the e-mails using mass-mailing software, catching many recipients unaware that a new virus was on the rampage. \nIn Asia, China's top Web security firm said yesterday that Sobig.F has infected 30 percent of all e-mail users in the country. \nMore than 20 million users opened and passed along the virus to domestic and regional networks, Hao Ting, spokeswoman for Beijing Rising Technology Shareholding Co Ltd, said. \n"We haven't seen anything spread so fast," she said.
SOLIDARITY: A group of European lawmakers condemned China’s aggressive moves, while the foreign minister of Lithuania said Taiwan ‘cannot become a second Ukraine’ A German parliamentary delegation would visit Taiwan in the first week of October, German lawmaker Holger Becker on Monday told visiting Democratic Progressive Party legislators Fan Yun (范雲) and Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) at the Bundestag in Berlin. Asked by Fan whether he is worried about possible reprisals from Beijing, such as banning him and his family from entering China, Becker said he is more interested in visiting Taiwan, as “now is the time for democracies to stand together.” Fan and Lin also met with German officials to exchange views on digital education and governance. Investing in digital infrastructure and protecting equal rights to
‘IRRATIONAL ACTS’: The defense ministry condemned the drills, during which China tested successors to missiles deployed during the Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1995 and 1996 China yesterday fired several Dongfeng ballistic missiles as it began four days of unprecedented military drills off Taiwan proper following US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei the previous day. On Tuesday, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) said Beijing would “take all necessary measures” in retaliation should Pelosi visit Taiwan during her Asia tour. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from 1:56pm to 4pm fired 11 Dongfeng missiles into waters north, east and south of Taiwan proper, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. Taiwanese armed forces, using “forward warning and surveillance mechanisms,” monitored the missile tests
ANNEXATION PLANS: Remarks by the Chinese ambassador to France showed that Beijing seeks to normalize genocide, re-education and gulags, a US official said European and US officials condemned comments from Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye (盧沙野), after he on Wednesday said that Taiwanese would be “re-educated” after any annexation by China. In an interview on French television, Lu accused the Democratic Progressive Party of “extremist” propaganda and turning Taiwanese against “reunification” with China. “We will re-educate. I’m sure that the Taiwanese population will again become favorable of the reunification and will become patriots again,” Lu told BFM TV. The term “re-education” has been used to describe Chinese authorities’ treatment of Uighurs and other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang. European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defense Chairwoman
‘SIMULATED ATTACKS’: Ten warships each from China and Taiwan were maneuvering at close quarters in the Taiwan Strait, with some Chinese vessels crossing the median line Taiwan yesterday reiterated that it would not succumb to pressure from Beijing after China carried out its most provocative military drills in decades in retaliation for US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan last week. “We will never bow to pressure. We uphold freedom and democracy, and believe Taiwanese disapprove [of] China’s bullying actions with force and saber rattling at our door,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday. China had “arrogantly” disrupted regional peace and stability, he said, calling on Beijing to not flex its military muscles. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has also called on the international community to “support