President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said Taiwan should strengthen its defenses against Chinese espionage, following a string of spy scandals showing that Chinese intelligence-gathering continues despite thawing relations.
Taiwan needs to “actively prevent” any leak of secrets to China and must counter infiltration attempts by beefing up its counter-intelligence, Ma said in a statement issued by the National Security Bureau.
He made the comments on Thursday at an intelligence meeting discussing security issues related to expanding cross-strait exchanges, the statement said.
The Military High Court last month handed down life sentences to General Lo Hsien-che (羅賢哲), former head of communications and electronic information at army command headquarters, and Colonel Lo Chi-cheng (羅奇正), who used to work at the Ministry of National Defense’s Military Intelligence Bureau, for spying for China, in the nation’s biggest espionage scandals in recent years.
The general was allegedly “persuaded” by a Chinese female spy to gather information for Beijing, while the intelligence officer reportedly assisted China in unraveling several of Taiwan’s spy networks in China.
A retired Taiwanese agent recently warned that at least 10 Chinese moles were believed to have infiltrated the nation’s security units.
In other news, defense ministry officials said the military had taken steps to ensure the security of its computer networks.
The officials were responding to reports that US computer security company McAfee has discovered vast cyberattacks that have targeted more than 70 governments, nonprofit groups and corporations around the world to steal vast quantities of data.
According to the McAfee report, some organizations that have fallen victim to the attacks dating from mid-2006 are Taiwanese, and experts have pointed the finger at China as the source of the hacking.
Ministry spokesman David Lo (羅紹和) said on Thursday that the military’s computer systems are monitored around the clock to ensure security.
Lo said the military has long adopted its own independent system separate from civilian networks out of concern for the security of defense-related information.
Wang Teh-pen (王德本), a ministry division chief in charge of information and communication security, said the ministry had adopted many strategies, including constant renewal of protective measures, to reinforce its cyber-security.