Military hospitals have seen the most cyberattacks of all military-related civilian organizations, registering more than 162 million attacks last year, the Ministry of National Defense said in its latest report on cyberattacks, which it released on Friday.
The ministry’s Web site, that of the National Defense University and the ministry’s recruitment centers, those of military hospitals under the ministry’s Medical Affairs Bureau and the Web sites for political warfare and information, such as those of Youth Daily News and the Military News Agency, are the military’s five major civilian Web sites.
According to the report, military hospital Web sites were attacked most frequently, registering 726 million attacks in 2014.
China is targeting the nation’s military hospitals to obtain military insurance and National Health Insurance data on military personnel and their dependents, so it could identify all of Taiwan’s military personnel and isolate potential candidates that might be used to steal military secrets, a military analyst said on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A ministry official, who asked not to be named, said it is standard policy for military and civilian networks and servers to be physically separated and that users must keep all the data within the intranet of their respective unit.
Periodic security checks are conducted to ensure that software and hardware installed to maintain information security are working as intended, the official said.
The ministry estimated that military-affiliated civilian networks registered 8.68 million attacks in 2013, 726 million attacks in 2014, 569 million attacks in 2015, 392 million attacks in 2016 and 204 million attacks last year.
The ministry has set up an information security center that monitors affiliated civilian networks around the clock, the official said, adding that inclusion of these networks into the Government Service Network (GSN) has effectively lowered the risk posed by malign cyberattacks.
The GSN is an Executive Yuan project launched in 1997 with the goal of realizing a digital government in which government efficiency would be increased via digitization of paperwork and processes, digital access to information about governmental policies for the public and convenient online access to government functions, such as taxation.
“We have seen a general decrease in cyberattacks on military-affiliated civilian networks since 2014,” the ministry said, adding that this reflects the effectiveness of its information security measures.
“The ministry is complying with the Executive Yuan’s demand that information security exercises include key pieces of information and basic infrastructure, to ensure the overall defense of our information security and our ability to react during a crisis,” the official said.
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