Thu, Aug 21, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Police deny China hacking rumor

NO PROBLEM The only way to obtain the information that a Chinese-language newspaper alleged was stolen is to access an NPA in-house computer, said one official

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Police Administration (NPA) yesterday denied reports that its computer system had been attacked by Chinese hackers and classified information stolen.

"Access to our classified information requires several usernames and passwords. It has not been hacked or stolen by anybody," said Yang Chi-lin (楊麒麟), director of the NPA's Information Technology Department.

Yang said that all the classified information was stored in a closed computer network that could not be accessed through the Internet.

The classified information held on the NPA's computers includes documents and records such as vehicle registration information, information on vehicle owners and criminal records, Yang said. The only way to access the system and steal information is to do so from a terminal inside the NPA.

Two Chinese-language news-papers reported yesterday that several unidentified Chinese hackers from Hubei Province began attacking the NPA's computer network and database in April.

Yang denied that classified information had been accessed.

"I can assure you that our national security was not breached and privacy was not invaded," he said.

According to the reports, special agents from the Ministry of Justice's Bureau of Investigation spent three months identifying and locating the hackers and discovered that they were Chinese government officials.

The NPA hired at least three local software companies to help rebuild the firewalls protecting its systems, the reports said.

However, the Bureau of Investigation's Public Relations Department denied the reports.

"We have never heard of such a thing and have never investigated or tried to locate any Chinese hackers. In addition, if somebody hacks government computer systems and breaches national security, the police will also investigate," it said in a press release.

In response to questions about the "Blaster" virus that has infected more than 120,000 computers worldwide, Yang said that the NPA's computer system was protected by the "McAfee 4286" anti-virus program.

"Protecting our system from being attacked by hackers or computer viruses has always been our priority. And I can proudly say that my co-workers have performed well," Yang said.

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