TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government should not regard hacking as a game by promising rewards to those able to crack its networks, cybersecurity expert Li Jung-shian (李忠憲) said Tuesday (Dec. 29).
A really smart hacker will not reveal his own identity for NT$5 million (US$177,800), the Liberty Times quoted the National Cheng Kung University professor as saying.
Li was referring to the plan to issue digital IDs, which has been delayed due to public concerns over its security in the face of frequent cyberattacks on Taiwanese government sites, most likely by Chinese interests.
Promising money to hackers able to point out weaknesses in the system might endanger its safety as some of them might prefer to keep the information they find to themselves, Li said. Inviting hackers to attack Taiwan’s information systems was putting all of its networks at risk, with the government underestimating the China element.
The cyber expert said Taiwan should bear in mind the example of British mathematician Alan Turing, whose cracking of Nazi Germany’s Enigma code during World War II was kept a secret in order to mislead the enemy. The refusal of the Allied powers to reveal his findings cost lives, but still eventually succeeded in playing a part in winning the war, Li said.