The Executive Yuan has launched a special project to improve data protection across government ministries and agencies ahead of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) second-term inauguration on Wednesday, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said yesterday.
Kolas’ remarks came amid media reports of an alleged cyberattack on the Presidential Office on Friday, in which an e-mail account named “ser lo” purportedly sent members of the media on the office’s contact list files related to the Cabinet member selection for Tsai’s second term and assessments of vice president-elect William Lai (賴清德) from early last year, when he ran against Tsai in the Democratic Progressive Party’s presidential primary.
The Criminal Investigation Bureau on Saturday confirmed that the Presidential Office had reported the incident, adding that it had begun an investigation.
Ahead of the inauguration, the Executive Yuan has initiated a project to combat an increasing number of cyberattacks from overseas, even though the Presidential Office already has a cybersecurity team probing the suspected cyberattack and the Executive Yuan does not plan to intervene in that, Kolas said.
The Executive Yuan has set up a Security Operation Center, which would oversee efforts to protect users in non-military zones when they access government Web sites and defend against distributed denial-of-service attacks, said an Executive Yuan official, who did not want to be named.
Another center that collects and monitors data-related information has also been set up, allowing prompt alerts to be sent to regional servers to curb the spread of computer viruses when malware is detected, the official said.
Separately yesterday, a high-ranking national security official said on condition of anonymity that Friday’s alleged cyberattack was possibly hackers connected to the Chinese Communist Party attempting to hurt morale ahead of the inauguration.
The recipients of the e-mails from “ser lo” included several high-level managers in the local media, the official said, adding that the perpetrators must have been familiar with local media and politics, or been assisted by Taiwanese.
Regarding the new Cabinet, sources said that Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) would replace David Lee (李大維) as National Security Council secretary-general, while Lee would become the Straits Exchange Foundation chairman.
Former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) would become the representative to the US, while Representative to the UK David Lin (林永樂) would retire and his position would be filled by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵).
Presidential Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) last night said on Facebook that she would be leaving her position on Wednesday.
Chen reportedly is to be nominated by Tsai to serve as president of the Control Yuan.
Additional reporting by Yang Chun-hui, Lu Yi-hsuan and CNA
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