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2,000 Taipei City Government employees being leaked on Tuesday night, with city officials ascribing the incident to outdated and vulnerable data management software.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.
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
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
RESTRICTION EASED: Passengers would no longer be directed to designated waiting areas, and be allowed to shop and dine, the operator of the airport said International travelers transiting at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport would from today be allowed to go shopping and dine in the airport’s departure areas, the airport operator said, as the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) eased some border restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. Taoyuan International Airport Corp said reopening borders is a global trend, and since reallowing transit passengers from June 15, the airport has continued to review its procedures to improve services and efficiency. Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the CECC, inspected the airport on July 22, while Deputy Minister of Transportation and