The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) yesterday said that it has launched an investigation into a suspected cyberattack on the Presidential Office, after some members of the media on Friday received what the office said were altered documents pertaining to two meetings last month between President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).
On Friday night, an e-mail account named “ser lo” sent members of the media on the Presidential Office’s contact list two e-mails containing several files.
The files were purportedly documents prepared by aides for two meetings between Tsai and Su on selecting members of Tsai’s second-term Cabinet.
Photo: Betsy Joles, Bloomberg
Also attached was a purported assessment report on vice president-elect William Lai (賴清德) from early last year, when he competed against Tsai in the Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential primary.
The Presidential Office later on Friday said that the documents were doctored, calling them “fake news.”
The same account yesterday sent another two e-mails to the same members of the media containing files that purportedly detailed how Tsai was divvying up the spoils of office in planning her new Cabinet, as well as a supposed assessment report on how to defeat Lai during the primary.
The bureau yesterday confirmed that the Presidential Office had reported the incident, saying that it had begun an investigation into the incident.
Commenting on the incident, Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Ann Kao (高虹安) said that the Presidential Office should check its record of logins to its e-mail servers from off-site Internet protocol addresses.
The Presidential Office should launch an internal investigation primarily focused on those who have access to its e-mail server to determine if anyone has lost their login information, has been hacked or is leaking information, said Kao, who holds a doctorate in computer science and information engineering from the University of Cincinnati and was vice president of Hon Hai Technology Group’s (鴻海科技集團) Industrial Big Data Office from 2018 to this year.
Hackers might have breached the entire Presidential Office mail server, or someone on the inside either leaked the e-mail contacts or provided user account information to hackers, she said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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