Mon, Sep 23, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Cyberwarfare exercise set for November

MULTINATIONAL EFFORT:Teams from the US and 14 other nations are to challenge a Taiwanese team in a two-part drill to test the government’s ability to defend Web sites

Staff writer, with CNA

Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai speaks an event in Kaohsiung in an undated file photograph.

Photo: Ko Yu-hao, Taipei Times

Taiwan is to test its cyberdefense capabilities in the first-ever Cyber Offensive and Defensive Exercises to be held with the US in November, Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said yesterday.

Chen, who is also head of the Cabinet department for information security, said that in the wake of increasing cyberattacks targeting the government, the department has been holding regular cybersecurity drills to test the readiness and responsive capabilities of related authorities.

As part of ongoing efforts to respond to such threats, Chen said Taiwan and the US are to hold the five-day Cyber Offensive and Defensive Exercises in early November.

The drill was first announced by American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen during a cybersecurity forum in Taipei on Tuesday.

According to Chen, the exercises will be similar to the Cyber Storm exercises, which are the US Department of Homeland Security’s exercises to strengthen cyberpreparedness in the public and private sectors, held every two years.

First launched in 2006, the exercises were last held in the spring of last year.

Chen said the upcoming exercises in Taiwan would be divided into two parts, with the first testing the response of government staff and officials to phishing e-mails or text messages, which are the most common form of cyberattack.

The second part of the drill would examine responses in the public and private sectors to cyberattacks launched from foreign countries or locally, he said.

The Cyber Offensive and Defensive Exercises are scheduled to bring together teams from 15 nations to address simulated cyberthreats from North Korea, targeting social engineering, critical infrastructure and financial institutions, Chen said.

He would not name the 15 countries, saying only that the teams would be Asian, European and American.

The teams are to be designated blue (defense) and red (attack), with Taiwan’s security team as the blue team and the 15 other countries as the red team.

The simulated attacks will attempt to hack official Taiwanese government Web sites to test the capability of local cybersecurity teams to protect them and respond to the potential effects of such attacks, Chen said.

Taiwan is hoping that the debut cybersecurity drill will not only prepare the government for attacks, but also help Taiwan and other nations form a joint cybersecurity network, he added.

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