Ministry’s real-estate Web site gets more bandwidth

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 19, 2012 - Page 4

Following an embarrassing one-day interruption of an online real-estate pricing system immediately after it was launched on Tuesday, Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) yesterday announced that the system was back online, with broadened bandwidth, and promised to enhance its security system.

In order to limit skyrocketing house prices, the ministry has come up with a new measure requiring buyers and sellers of properties to register the actual prices of real-estate trades in the ministry’s real-estate price system.

With the actual real-estate price displayed in the system, potential buyers may check the approximate property price in the neighborhood of the target item to make sure they pay an appropriate price and so avoid price inflation.

The online system was launched on Tuesday. However, it broke down within hours of the official launch and finally came back online yesterday morning.

“The system was back on at 6:30am and as of 9am [when an Internal Administration Committee meeting began], nearly 8,000 people have accessed the system,” Lee announced when questioned by lawmakers during an Internal Administration Committee meeting yesterday.

“The breakdown occurred because too many people tried to access the system right after it was launched. To prevent the problem from happening again, we’ve increased the bandwidth of the system to 100Mb per second, which will allow 2,000 people to access the system at the same time, and is capable of handling 120,000 visitors per day,” he said.

The security of the new Web site also raised concerns, as the minister said on Wednesday that the breakdown happened not only because of the large number of visitors, but also because of a hacker attack.

“The system contains private information about people’s properties. It would be difficult for the ministry to make up for the mistake even if one piece of information is leaked,” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said.

Lee said that the ministry is continuously working to enhance security and it is “not likely” that someone could hack into the system to change any information.

He also played down the “hacker attack” remark made on Wednesday.

“I’m unable to answer the question on whether the earlier breakdown involved a hacker attack, because it’s not something I’m familiar with,” Lee said.

“We’re looking into it and I promise that we will build a stronger firewall to prevent hacker attacks,” he added.