TE24 International Desk:
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a brief visit to Taiwan this week that angered Beijing, with the welcome she received from government officials and the public contrasting sharply with a different kind of message that began popping up elsewhere on the island.
On Wednesday, at several branches of 7-11 convenience stores in Taiwan, television screens behind cashiers suddenly switched to display the words: Warmonger Pelosi, Get Out of Taiwan!
The island’s largest 24-hour convenience store chain has suffered an unprecedented number of cyber attacks on government websites such as the presidential office, the foreign and defense ministries, as well as infrastructure such as railway station screens, Taiwanese authorities said. In protest of Pelosi’s visit.
Taipei did not directly blame the Chinese government for the attacks, but said attacks on government websites — which crippled the sites — originated from addresses in China and Russia. It also said companies whose displays were modified used Chinese software that may contain backdoors or Trojan horse malware.
Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang said the volume of cyber attacks on Taiwanese government units on Tuesday, before and during Pelosi’s arrival, exceeded 15,000 gigabits, 23 times the previous daily record.
Taiwan’s cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng said on Wednesday that the government has strengthened security at critical infrastructure such as power plants and airports and increased cyber security precautions at all government agencies.
On Thursday, he said, no damage has been identified in this regard so far. We have established a three-tier national security and communications system that is robust and protective enough, he said at a briefing. The Chinese government says traveling to the autonomous islands, which it considers its territory, is a violation of its sovereignty.
On Thursday, China launched a missile at Taiwan as part of a series of unprecedented military exercises. A cyber security research firm said the attack on Taiwan’s government website ahead of Mr Pelosi’s visit was likely launched by Chinese activist hackers, not the Chinese government.
The hacker group APT 27, which Western officials have accused of being a Chinese government-backed group, claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s cyber attack in Taiwan, taking to YouTube to protest like Pelosi’s China. I was a visitor and said it had been done. He claims to shut down 60,000 internet-connected devices in Taiwan.
At a routine briefing by China’s foreign ministry on Thursday, a spokesman declined to comment when asked about the cyber attack on Taiwan. The Cyberspace Administration of China, which regulates the country’s internet, did not immediately respond.
Combining cyber attacks with China’s live-fire drills will give Taiwan’s leaders an advance idea of what a Chinese attack would look like, experts say.
In recent years, several reports by Taiwanese and US think tanks have suggested that in the event of a military attack on Taiwan, China would first launch cyber security attacks to undermine Taiwan’s critical infrastructure such as its power grid. It probably emphasizes that
Still, Eric Waligora, Accenture’s cyber threat intelligence expert, said the latest data appears to be more dramatic than the threat so far. He said previous attacks had been more sophisticated and damaging, including a campaign that forced several financial institutions in Taiwan to suspend online transactions from November to February last year.
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