Taiwan is cooperating with partners in other nations on cybersecurity after the Brno University Hospital in the Czech Republic and the US Department of Health and Human Services experienced cyberattacks in recent months, Executive Yuan sources said yesterday.
Taiwan has begun sharing cybersecurity intelligence with both nations, as well as others, to cooperate on defense measures, as Taiwan has extensive experience dealing with cyberattacks, the sources said, adding that China has ramped up attacks on the nation’s disease-prevention data centers and medical facility Web sites.
In a March attack on the hospital, one of 18 COVID-19 testing centers in the Czech Republic, several of the hospital’s main computer systems crashed, delaying the results of several dozen tests for people believed to be infected with COVID-19, the hospital said.
Cyberattacks are often routed through third countries, making it hard to pinpoint their origin, the sources said.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare has been asked to strengthen defense measures on its computer systems, and the Department of Cyber Security was helping monitor the networks, the sources said.
In related developments, Taiwan was among 19 nations that participated in a videoconference last week on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic held by the US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).
The conference on Wednesday focused on “sharing lessons learned regarding COVID-19 response, desires for resuming engagement and exercises in a post-COVID-19 world, and a commitment to continued cooperation across the Indo-Pacific region,” PACAF said in news release on Saturday.
The participants also addressed opportunities for cooperation in areas such as supply chain support, protocols on transport of patients, and applications for COVID-19 testing and tracing, it said.
A Taiwanese military official, who asked not to be named, said that military exchanges between Taiwan and the US, such as the PACAF conference, were nothing new.
For example, Taiwan last year participated in a US-hosted systems security conference on the F-16 jets and a seminar on the C-130 Hercules and P-3C Orion aircraft, the official said.
The PACAF teleconference was hosted by PACAF Commander General Charles Q. Brown Jr from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.
The other participating nations were Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, Chile, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
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