Taiwan and U.S. to conduct joint cybersecurity drills in November

AIT director warns against Chinese control over 5G infrastructure

AIT Director Brent Christensen (CNA file photo)

AIT Director Brent Christensen (CNA file photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan and the United States will for the first time conduct large-scale joint cybersecurity drills in November, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen announced Tuesday (September 17).

Speaking at a seminar about artificial intelligence and cybersecurity in Taipei, the U.S. representative emphasized the risks of allowing China to control basic 5G systems, as the communist country could gain access to sensitive data and paralyze other countries’ communication networks, the Central News Agency reported.

The most immediate threat was no longer troops landing on the beach, but the malicious use of open societies and the open Internet to subvert democracy, Christensen reportedly said.

Chinese-backed attacks against Taiwan’s high technology sector had multiplied by seven from 2017 to 2018, and was likely to increase a further 20 times in 2019, he said. Christensen said that as he was speaking, hackers, including some from China, were stealing business secrets and intellectual property from Taiwan and from the U.S.

Enemies would use the openness of the Internet to polarize society and undermine trust in democracy, he warned.

The U.S. would help Taiwan join its Department of Homeland Security’s “Automated Indicator Sharing,” which would allow the island to analyze potential cyberthreats even faster, according to CNA.

Next November, at least 15 countries including Taiwan would participate in “Cyber Offensive and Defensive Exercises” which would feature simulations of a North Korean cyber attack and the hacking of financial systems, Christensen said. He also expressed the hope that Taiwan could set up an “International Cybersecurity Center of Excellence” and establish worldwide standards for the basis of a 5G network, CNA reported.