An information security breach led to financial data concerning at least 2,000 Taipei City Government employees being leaked on Tuesday night, with city officials ascribing the incident to outdated and vulnerable data management software.
The information, which was leaked to Yahoo Taiwan’s search engine, included the names, pay grades, salaries and bank accounts of employees at the Department of Transportation, the Construction Management Office, the Department of Civil Servant Development and the Hydraulic Engineering Office.
“The [data management] program has not been updated for 15 years. Its capacity to uphold information security is inferior,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said in response to media requests for comment on the issue at an event to promote the sale of merchandise to mark the Lunar New Year holiday.
Photo: Liu Ching-hou, Taipei Times
Ko said that he had instructed the Taipei Department of Information Technology, which operates the program, to determine the severity of the leak and to come up with a plan to update the software.
The leak should not be treated as an isolated incident and he will instruct the department to update all software used by the city government regularly, Ko said.
The city’s old software is expected to be overhauled this year, as the Taipei City Council on Tuesday approved a city government’s request for more funds to update its system, he added.
Separately yesterday, Taipei Department of Information Technology Commissioner Lee Wei-bin (李維斌) said that the breach was secured 10 minutes after the department was informed about it by the Taipei Police Department.
The department of information yesterday morning met with Executive Yuan officials and raised the severity of the breach from level one to level three, Lee said.
He urged employees whose bank accounts have been leaked to change their passwords.
Some city government employees whose computers were contaminated by malware could have downloaded software developed by Yahoo Taiwan, resulting in the information leak, he said.
The department of information has been granted a budget of NT$23 million (US$720,213) by the Taipei City Council to investigate the leak, he said.
According to the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Control Yuan member Kao Feng-hsien (高鳳仙) has also opened an investigation into the incident.
In related news, Ko yesterday said that the Taipei Clean Government Committee would likely remain in operation even though the city council on Monday withdrew its budget.
The Control Yuan in August last year issued a corrective measure against the municipal government over its handling of the Taipei Dome project, saying that the committee’s operations lacked a legal basis.
Ko yesterday said that he did not “invent” the committee, as it has been operating under the title of Taipei Clean Government and Anti-Corruption Center since former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) tenure.
The committee’s work has helped the city reclaim NT$3.35 billion in land that Radium Life Tech Co undervalued in the MeHas City housing project, renegotiate a more profitable and reasonable contract with Eslite Group over its use of the Taipei New Horizon building and reported former Taipei Department of Finance head Lee Sush-der (李述德) to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office over Lee’s alleged malpractice in the Dome project, the mayor said.
Ko said that he had individually asked committee members whether they would continue attending meetings without reimbursement, to which they responded affirmatively.
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
The US 7th Fleet yesterday confirmed that a US Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and Friday. “The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey [DDG 105] conducted a Taiwan Strait transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy [RCN] Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, October 14-15, 2021,” the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region,” it added. The transit marked the