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Taipei (AFP) – Taiwan’s government agencies face around five million cyber attacks and probes a day, an official said Wednesday, as a report warned of increasing Chinese cyber warfare targeting the self-ruled island.
Taiwanese officials have previously said the island faces millions of cyber attacks every month, with around half of them believed to originate from China.
Speaking in parliament, cyber security department director Chien Hung-wei said Taiwan’s government network faces “five million attacks and scans a day”.
A scan in cyber security refers to an attempt to locate weaknesses in a server.
“We are strengthening the government’s defensive measures and collecting relevant data for analysis in a bid to stop the attacks when they are initiated,” Chien told lawmakers.
Taipei has accused Beijing of ramping up cyber attacks since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who views the island as a sovereign nation.
Beijing views democratic Taiwan as part of its own territory and has vowed to one day seize the island, by force if necessary.
In a report released on Tuesday, Taiwan’s defence ministry warned that China has been “vigorously enhancing” its cyber warfare capabilities as part of the strategy to bring the island to heel.
The ministry’s information security and protection centre detected and handled around 1.4 billion “anomalies” from 2019 to August 2021 to prevent potential hacking, according to the report.
In July, Taiwan’s police launched an investigation after the Line messaging app reported abnormal account activities to the authorities.
Local media said the hacked accounts belonged to “high ranking officials” in various government branches.
Last year, Taiwanese authorities said Chinese hackers infiltrated at least 10 Taiwan government agencies and gained access to around 6,000 email accounts in an attempt to steal data.
© 2021 AFP