A 24-year-old engineer was arrested on Friday on suspicion of cracking the EasyCard encryption system and changing the value of cards to make purchases at convenience stores, Taipei EasyCard Corp said yesterday, maintaining that its security system remains sound.
Wu Dong-lin (吳東霖) allegedly decoded the encryption of three EasyCards he had in his possession and changed the value in each of the cards to NT$9,000. The company’s information security system detected the anomaly and the company worked with police in Taipei to apprehend him after he made a purchase with an EasyCard at a convenience store.
EasyCard general manager Cheng You-chin (鄭有欽) said the company reported the situation to the police immediately after its system detected the anomaly on Sept. 10, but did not lock out the cards so that the police could trace the suspect’s location.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times
Before the arrest was made, the suspect allegedly made six purchases totaling NT$608 using two of the three EasyCards at convenience stores, and the loss to the company was only NT$39 after deducting the original values in the cards of NT$569, Cheng told a press conference held at the company.
Chen Kuo-wen (陳國文), a division chief at the police department, said Wu claimed he only decoded the encryption code for his EasyCards and did not collude with others.
Cheng dismissed concerns about the information security of the EasyCard system, adding that while the encryption system on the cards could be cracked, the company’s transaction security mechanism and other protection systems would serve as the gatekeeper against any acts of theft.
“The suspect did not hack into the value store-up system or copy other users’ EasyCards. We remain confident about our information security mechanisms and we can promise that all customers’ rights will be protected,” he said.
Wu’s alleged crime violated the Act on Issuance and Management of Electronic Monetary Cards (電子票證發行管理條例) and he could face a sentence of one to 10 years, or a fine of up to NT$200 million (US$6.5 million), Chen said.
EasyCards, which are used mostly for public transportation, can be used to make a purchase of up to NT$1,000 per transaction with a daily cap of NT$3,000 after the Financial Supervisory Commission approved their use as an electronic cash card beginning in April last year.
EasyCard holders can store up to NT$10,000 in value and use the card as an electronic wallet at major convenience stores and more than 10,000 shops nationwide.
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
MISSILE PATHS: Certain information on the Chinese missile fire was not disclosed to maintain secrecy over military intelligence-gathering capabilities, the MND said Military experts yesterday speculated on the implication of the government’s tight-lipped response and the lack of air-raid sirens during the first day of China’s military drills the previous day. On Thursday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched 11 Dongfeng-series ballistic missiles into waters north, east and south of Taiwan, a day after US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s departure from the country, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. The Japanese Ministry of Defense said that China fired nine missiles toward Taiwan, including four that flew over Taiwan proper. However, China’s exhibition of force failed to terrorize the local populace, because
If any war were to break out between the US and China, one trigger might be the increasingly frequent fighter jet encounters near Taiwan. Almost every day, Taiwanese fighter pilots hop in their US-made F-16s to intercept Chinese warplanes screaming past their territory. The encounters probe the nation’s defenses and force the pilots on both sides to avoid mistakes that could lead to a crisis that spins out of control. “I didn’t know whether they would fire at me,” said retired colonel Mountain Wang, recounting a tense five-minute confrontation he had with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jets more than a decade
INCREASINGLY EMBOLDENED: China can no longer be dismissed as inexperienced, demonstrating an ability to coordinate land and sea missile systems, an expert said Beijing’s largest-ever exercises around Taiwan have offered essential clues into its plans for a grueling blockade in the event of an attack on Taiwan, and revealed an increasingly emboldened Chinese military, experts said. The visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi — second in line to the presidency — sparked outrage from Beijing, which launched vast military maneuvers around the nation, even at the risk of partially exposing its plans to the US and its Asian allies. Mobilizing fighter planes, helicopters and warships, the drills aim to simulate a blockade of Taiwan and include practicing an “attack on