Fri, Apr 27, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Cyberattacks lead ministry to shutter ID design Web site

By Chen Yu-fu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writers

Screengrab of the Ministry of the Interior’s Web site hosting a vote for best design of a new National Identification Card, which was temporarily frozen yesterday due to a cyberattack. The banner reads, “secessionist forces, please desist.”

Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times

Cyberattacks have forced the temporary closure of a Ministry of the Interior Web site hosting a vote for best design of a new national identification card, the ministry said yesterday.

The ministry said it suspected anti-independence advocates were behind the hack, as two designs leading in the poll prior to the cyberattack had sparked heated debate between the pro-Taiwan independence and pro-unification camps.

The leading design is titled “Taiwanese National Identity Card — Local Residents of the Island,” while the other is third-placed “Sun Yat-sen Version of the Republic of China National Identity Card.”

The use of the name “Taiwan” in the leading design, coupled with the ministry’s refusal to force changes — citing respect for the designer — caused continuous cyberattacks over the past days, the poll’s manager said.

Prior to the shutdown, the site was defaced with a message to stop “separatist movements” and redirected to a Web site for China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, the manager said.

The ministry said it has temporarily shut down the voting site and would announce when it will be reopened, adding that it has conveyed requests to contractors for quick repairs.

Netizens should engage in rational debate and refrain from actions that would harm others, or seek to disseminate the personal information of others, the ministry said.

The leading design has been temporarily removed and would be inaccessible until it is reuploaded as soon as the Web site’s information security has been reinforced, it said.

The event aims to produce a creative, more aesthetic design for the card and its information, the ministry said.

The design of the national identification card should convey its status as a document legally representing the nation, the ministry said.

The actual content that would go on the card is beyond the purview of the vote, it added.

The redesign event has two stages, with the winner from the online poll to be included in the second phase, along with seven other designs, the ministry said.

A nine-person panel of designers and representatives from the interior ministry and the Ministry of Culture would then select two designs for creative and design awards from those eight candidates, it said.

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