A spate of cyberattacks originating from China could be preparations for an attempt to paralyze Taiwan’s key computer systems and public infrastructure to disrupt the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and vice president-elect William Lai (賴清德) on May 20, Ministry of National Defense officials and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said yesterday.
Wang told a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee in Taipei that he has learned China was behind a spate of malware attacks this week that aimed to disable the computer system at Taiwan’s two major oil suppliers — state-owned CPC Corp, Taiwan and privately owned Formosa Petrochemical Corp — as well as IC testing and packaging firm Powertech Technology and some financial companies.
He cautioned Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) and other ministry officials that the malicious attacks have been increasing in the past few weeks and that China would mount more coordinated attacks for a major escalation in the coming days to cause major disruptions or paralyze computer networks on May 20.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Communication, Electronics and Information Tsao Chin-ping (曹進平) said that cyberattacks targeting the Web sites of government agencies or state-run companies could intensify in the buildup to the inauguration.
“The Chinese cyberarmy’s intrusion channels into these computer systems came through mobile storage devices and social media platforms. Our military units will bolster cybersecurity measures to defend against these types of hacking,” Tsao said.
National Security Bureau officials yesterday identified the sources of the cyberattacks as China and Russia.
These were likely coordinated cyberattacks and test runs by China to sabotage the presidential inauguration, they said.
China might be planning to paralyze Taiwan’s key government computer systems, impair its power supply and state utilities, and disable other major public infrastructure, the officials said.
An initial probe found that the hackers used Internet protocol addresses registered in Europe as springboards to implant backdoor programs and malware into servers at Taiwan’s health agencies, medical research centers and Centers for Disease Control offices to steal critical information and files, they said.
Wang also pointed to evidence indicating that Chinese cyberarmy units have targeted Taiwanese health agencies and medical research institutes working on a COVID-19 vaccine, adding that they have also targeted similar entities in the US.
TRAVEL FACTOR: The party’s chairman said that the key to a successful recall of the Kaohsiung mayor was turnout among young voters from outside the city More than 55 percent of Kaohsiung residents said that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) should be recalled, the New Power Party (NPP) said yesterday, citing a poll. The COVID-19 situation and turnout among young people would be two key factors determining whether Han is removed from office, the NPP said. The telephone survey showed that 59.5 percent of respondents said they would vote in the recall election, down 6.1 percentage points from the results of a similar poll last month. Those who said that Han should be recalled rose 4.3 percentage points to 56.4 percent, while 28.9 percent said they disagreed with the
Wecare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立) yesterday filed a complaint against the Kaohsiung City Government for launching a NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) stimulus program to boost consumer spending, which Yin said has contravened the law, as it uses public money to counter a recall vote against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜). Yin and his lawyer went to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office to file a complaint and ask that an investigation be launched. They accused the city government of wrongdoing, illegal activities, undue profiteering and contravening the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Han on Tuesday unveiled the program, which is to
’DESPERATION’: Reminiscent of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Beijing is taking a calculated risk by acting first and resolving recriminations later, Wu Rwei-ren said China is sounding the battle horn for a new US-China cold war by proposing a national security law for Hong Kong while the West is preoccupied with the COVID-19 pandemic, an academic said yesterday. Academia Sinica Institute of Taiwan History associate research fellow Wu Ruei-ren (吳叡人) made the comments at a news conference in Taipei, saying that he was representing the Economic Democracy Union’s research branch. The resolution signals China’s abandonment of the “one country, two systems” framework, as it prepares to take full control of Hong Kong, ending the era of Hong Kong as an international financial center, which was made
Suspension of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例) would be the equivalent of cutting off Hong Kong, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday. “Without [the act], how will you stand with the people of Hong Kong?” Chiang asked outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday wrote on Facebook that Taiwan, like all democratic nations, stands with the people of Hong Kong as she expressed concern over China’s plan to impose a national security law for Hong Kong. For security reasons, Tsai said her administration would consider invoking Article 60 of