Wed, Apr 11, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Defense ministry warns personnel of hacker attacks

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday urged military personnel to stay alert, warning of potential attacks from computer hackers. The ministry asked personnel who work with confidential information to be especially on their guard.

"Vigilance starts at the individual level," said Major General Chai Hui-chen (柴惠珍), division chief for the ministry's Communications and Electronics Department.

Chai made her remarks after being asked to comment on a recent intelligence leak at the National Defense University.

A colonel illegally took home classified information concerning the Hankwang military exercise because he wanted to continue his work after office hours.

The officer had downloaded software from Chinese Web sites onto his home computer that planted a back-door access program. Hackers then stole the classified information from his computer without the officer noticing.

The officer did not realize that his computer had been hacked until law enforcement officers discovered the hackers' attack, which originated in China, and reported it to the ministry.

The ministry yesterday said the case was under investigation.

At least six generals could face punishment from the ministry if the case is designated as an "espionage case," Chai said.

Asked why the university's anti-espionage officer had let anyone take home classified information, Chai replied: "We will certainly impose stricter security measures in the future to prevent similar cases from occurring."

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