Mon, Oct 15, 2007 - Page 1 News List

MND transfers rear admiral after leak

NO WORK AT HOME Confidential information was stolen from the officer's personal laptop by hackers after he downloaded documents onto it to take home with him

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday a rear admiral and two of his subordinates were transferred to different posts and disciplined after confidential naval information was intercepted by hackers.

The Navy Command Headquarters said yesterday in a press statement that Rear Admiral Chu Tsung-jung (朱從榮), director of the planning department at Navy Command Headquarters, and two of his subordinates, Captain Hsiang Ching-tsung (項慶宗) and Commander Shen Yao-chun (沈堯鈞), have left the planning department and been disciplined.

The statement said that Shen had downloaded confidential information onto his personal laptop from his office computers so that he could work at home.

The confidential information was later stolen from his laptop by hackers using a Trojan horse virus.

The Navy said the National Security Bureau was able to access the confidential information through its computers and immediately reported the matter to the ministry and the Navy.

The statement did not say whether the Chinese government had gained access to the hacked information.

The Navy said Shen violated the military's confidential information security measures, while Chu and Hsiang were found responsible for not stopping Shen from taking work home on his laptop.

The Chinese-language United Daily News reported yesterday that the confidential information included minutes from annual conferences between the US and Taiwanese navies and minutes from other meetings between high-ranking US and Taiwanese naval officials, as well as minutes from meetings held in the US between Taiwanese legislators and US Navy officials.

OTHER LEAKS

The newspaper said the that bureau had discovered that confidential information had also been leaked from other military units through similar acts of carelessness, adding that the ministry had investigated the matter.

The Navy said that in recent years, the Chinese government has boosted efforts to spy on Taiwan using computer technology, adding that the ministry had asked military officials not to take work home and not to connect any office computers to the Internet.

The Navy said that it would strengthen its information security controls and staff training to prevent a repeat.

`DISCIPLINE'

Shuai Hua-ming (帥化民), a Chinese Nationalist Party lawmaker who is a member of the legislature's National Defense Committee, said the leak highlighted a problem with the military's "discipline."

"If [the military] doesn't reflect on its attitude and behavior, and instead allows slack discipline, the same problem will happen again and again," Shuai said when approached for comment.

Shuai also advised the military to review the workload it assigns to its personnel, so as to prevent them from having to take work home in order to finish their duties.

Additional reporting by Flora Wang

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