China hackers steal 3 million Taipei health department files

Attack originated in Shanghai: Investigation Bureau

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An attack on Taipei City health department files was launched from Shanghai, says the Investigation Bureau.

An attack on Taipei City health department files was launched from Shanghai, says the Investigation Bureau. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – An attack by hackers which succeeded in stealing personal data from 2.98 million files at the Taipei department of health originated in China, reports said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) said the hacking was launched from Shanghai, which led it to ask for assistance from overseas agencies, including the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.

At the same time, the hackers also used Trojan Horse programs to steal information from about 40 official bodies, including prominent schools and hospitals, the Apple Daily reported.

The events occurred as early as March 2017, but were not reported by the Taipei City health department to the MJIB until last August, reports said. The investigation concluded that the hackers had inserted the Trojan Horse into the computer systems of small and medium enterprises, which allowed them to take over control from a distance and to intrude into other systems.

The hackers had not just targeted Taiwan, but had taken control over more than 1,500 websites in 38 countries, the Central News Agency reported. According to the MJIB, it was not only Chinese hackers who were interested in Taiwan, but recently activity by Russian and East European hackers had also increased.