Taiwan has stepped up cybersecurity cooperation with the US and intends to take part in planned cybersecurity exercises, a senior Taiwanese official stationed in Washington said on Thursday.
“Cybersecurity cooperation is an important part of Taiwan-US relations,” Deputy Representative to the US Leo Lee (李澄然) said, adding that this cooperation includes information exchanges and assistance in manpower training.
“Joint training exercises are also good for cooperation and we look forward to taking part in drills being planned by the US authorities,” Lee said.
However, the two sides have yet to formally talk about cooperation in this area, he said.
Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) had lunch with senior officials from the US Department of Homeland Security earlier on Thursday and cybersecurity was one of the issues discussed.
The US government is working to toughen its cybersecurity measures after computer systems at major public institutions and corporations reportedly fell victim to an unprecedented rash of cyberattacks from China-based hackers.
The White House has listed the war against cyberattacks on major US government institutions and large conglomerates as one of its top priorities.
The US Department of State, the US Trade Representative Office and the US Department of Commerce have all begun to draft measures and administrative strategies to minimize the risks of business secrets or classified information being stolen by hackers.
Washington-based security experts and academics have described Chinese cyberattacks against major institutions in the US capital as rampant and ubiquitous, with the targets ranging from law firms, think tanks and media outlets to human rights groups, congressional offices and government agencies.
Lee said the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US pays a great deal of attention to cybersecurity because Taiwan has also been a primary target of Chinese cyberattacks.
Lee said each staff member at the office has two computers, one of which is used for Internet searches, while the other has a physical isolation switch that disconnects it from the Internet.
The arrangement aims to prevent any leaks of sensitive information, Lee said.
Moreover, he said, Taiwan’s security agencies regularly send personnel to the country’s overseas offices to inspect their cybersecurity measures and facilities.
“We spare no effort to ensure cybersecurity,” Lee added.