The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Web site was defaced by hackers yesterday.
Contents of the dpp.org.tw Web site was altered to display messages in simplified Chinese such as “Chinese netizens for re-electing Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)” and “The Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] is next.”
Attacks against the party’s Web site have increased in the run-up to the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24, DPP spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said.
As the use of simplified Chinese characters by the hackers sparked fears that the DPP could be targeted by systematic attacks from China, the party would launch an inquiry to identify the hackers and their motives, she said.
The party strongly condemned the attack and said it would revamp its cybersecurity infrastructure in response to rising threat levels.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said the KMT opposes the expression of opinions through illegal means.
“The KMT respects all forms of expression of opinions, as long as they do not go beyond the scope permitted by the freedom of speech and do not infringe upon others’ rights. However, people should not express their stance through illegal means,” Hung said.
If Chinese hackers are proven to be behind the incident, government agencies, particularly military intelligence agencies, should step up efforts to prevent the leaking of Taiwanese’s personal information, Hung said.
Separately yesterday, an unnamed defense official said that defense and national security-related public online domains have long been targeted by China’s state-sanctioned hackers, but added that the operational systems of the military and the national security agencies are protected by physically separated servers and isolated intranets.
China has launched hundreds of millions of cyberattacks on the military’s civilian networks every year over the past five years, the official familiar with cybersecurity operations said.
The number of attacks peaked in 2014 at 726.86 million detected attacks, but that number last year decreased to 204.66 million, he said.
In addition to implementing security measures, the military and national security agencies are also using “backsighting,” or surveying their defenses from the outside, to detect and plug vulnerabilities, the official said.
The ministry has established a security operations center to monitor civilian networks around the clock, he said, adding that integration of those networks into the Executive Yuan’s Governmental Network System has caused the number of cyberattacks to decline since 2014.
Under the Executive Yuan’s instructions, the ministry has included the security of basic informational infrastructure as a component of an annual national data security exercise, the official said.
Additional reporting by Yang Chun-hui and Stacy Hsu
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