The Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co (FETC) confirmed yesterday that the electronic toll collection (ETC) system’s mobile-phone application was repeatedly attacked by hackers on Wednesday, but the company said the personal information of eTag users was not leaked to any third party due to the incident.
Starting yesterday, freeway drivers are charged based on the distances they travel.
The application was created by the toll-collection contractor to allow freeway drivers to check the amount remaining in their ETC accounts on their mobile phones.
The company said that the application suffered malicious attacks from hackers on Wednesday. In total, the application was hacked 8.2 billion times in various time periods during the day, it added.
The contractor said that it had quickly quarantined the application and ensured that other systems related to freeway users continue their normal operations.
The company also said that the application, which is not available for use today, is being closely examined by its information security personnel.
Freeway users can still check the transactions on their ETC accounts through the company’s Web site or multimedia machines at convenience stores, it added.
National Freeway Bureau Deputy Director-General Wu Mu-fu (吳木富) said that the police have launched an investigation into the incident.
Wu also said that it has asked FETC to submit a report on how it plans to reinforce information security in the application, adding that the company should not take this matter lightly.
The company should also be held responsible if any driver provides evidence showing that the incident has led to a financial loss, Wu added.
Previously, many people were worried that the removal of toll booths on the nation’s freeways would lead to severe congestion. Commenting on freeway traffic yesterday, Wu said that such a situation has not occurred.
The bureau further compared freeway traffic volumes before and after the implementation of the “pay as you go” policy.
The traffic volume between Wugu (五股) and Taishan (泰山) on the Sun Yat-sen Freeway increased by 10 percent during the peak hours yesterday morning. Likewise, the traffic volume between Nanzih (楠梓) and Gangshan (岡山) was up by 10 percent.
In contrast, traffic volume between Fengyuan (豐原) and Daya (大雅) decreased by between 5 percent and 10 percent.
Wu said the results were within the bureau’s estimates.