Chinese cyberattacks on Taiwan persist even as ties across the Taiwan Strait have improved, the head of Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology said yesterday.
Chinese hackers attack Taiwan on almost a daily basis, in part to steal confidential information on the government’s bottom line in cross-strait negotiations, Minister of Science Simon Chang (張善政) said during an interview with a local radio station.
Taiwan has also become a testing ground for Chinese hackers to experiment with new hacking technologies, he said.
Although cross-strait ties appear to have improved, there is a major cyberattack by Chinese hackers once every few months, with the perpetrators hoping to crash Taiwanese Web sites and steal information, he said.
Chang, who is also the Cabinet’s chief information officer, was responding to questions on the nation’s information security.
Meanwhile, addressing the gas pipeline explosions in Greater Kaohsiung reportedly caused by a leaky propene pipeline, Chang said that a task force should be set up to collect and compile information on underground pipelines so that the information is easily accessible to governments at every level.
The blasts on July 31 and Aug. 1, which left 30 people dead and 310 injured, drew attention to the issue of underground petrochemical pipes in highly populated parts of the city, which is the hub of the nation’s petrochemical industry.
Chang said the petrochemical industry has only a 17 percent profit margin, compared with 40 percent in Singapore, and companies in the sector need to realize that costs will only go up in the future given rising environmental awareness.
The companies should pay greater attention to operational safety and maintain a good relationship with residents in the neighborhoods near their factories, Chang said, adding that the ministry was ready to help producers develop innovative techniques to add value.
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