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Anti-independence hackers force closure of Taiwan ID card design website

Taiwanese netizens blame Chinese army hackers for the cyberattacks on Taiwan ID card design website

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Third place design. (screenshot from identityredesign.tw)

Third place design. (screenshot from identityredesign.tw)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) announced yesterday that the website created to enable Taiwanese to vote for a new design for the Taiwan national ID card had to be taken down after being hacked by anti-independence supporters, while netizens blame Chinese army hackers, reported Liberty Times.

Yesterday, a website created to enable members of the public to vote on new designs for the Taiwan national ID card was vandalized by hackers. When visitors on the website clicked on the most popular design, titled "Local Residents of the Island," they suddenly started seeing a warning message stating "this work is a violation of the constitution," and the MOI said voting for that design had been disabled by hackers.

The MOI said that the heated discussion over the new designs had drawn the attention of hackers. Much of the debate centered around the MOI's removing of requirements to include the official country name or flag in the designs, resulting in many top designs excluding ROC and the Taiwan flag and instead listing the country as Taiwan, as was the case in the first place card layout.

Anti-independence hackers force closure of Taiwan ID card design website
First place design. (Photo from identityredesign.tw)

Anti-independence hackers force closure of Taiwan ID card design website
Screencapture of text reads "secessionist forces, please stop."

In addition, the page would then direct them to a page in the People's Republic of China Central Government website listing its "Anti-secession Law."

Anti-independence hackers force closure of Taiwan ID card design website
Screenshot of "Anti-secession Law" page.

When clicking on the second place design, titled "Spell Out Taiwan," a message would pop up saying "secessionist forces, please stop."

Anti-independence hackers force closure of Taiwan ID card design website
Second place design. (Photo from identityredesign.tw)

The website is currently down and is plain white with only the words "undergoing maintenance" (維護中) displayed on the top left hand corner.

Taiwanese netizens on the online forum PTT believe the Chinese government is behind the attacks:

"Grandpa Communist is most adept at these dirty little tricks."

"I was dumbfounded after seeing the remnants of the damaged website."

"This should spark a ton of votes XDDDDDD."

"Thanks to the Chinese internet army, you took another big step away from unification."

"I originally wasn't going to vote, but I suddenly have a strong interest in voting now."

The MOI said that it is working with the contractors on repairing the site and says that it will strengthen its security settings to prevent such attacks in the future. It also said, "We call on rational participation in discussions and the vote, and do not behave badly toward others if you have a different opinion. Please do not waste other people's money and avoid crossing the law!"


Updated : 2021-04-17 11:26 GMT+08:00