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Taiwan hit by cyberattacks, China software involved

Government websites, rail system signboards report attacks amid Pelosi visit

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Digital signboard at a rail station in Taiwan was hacked and displayed anti-Pelosi messages. 

Digital signboard at a rail station in Taiwan was hacked and displayed anti-Pelosi messages.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A number of Taiwan government agencies and infrastructure websites have come under cyberattacks in the past few days and, in some cases, the attacks involved software from China.

The websites or systems of the presidential office, the foreign ministry, the defense ministry, the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the Taiwan Railways Administration, and the Taiwan Power Company have encountered a spike in attacks since Tuesday (Aug. 2). Some have been identified by the authorities as from China and Russia.

Services for the affected websites have become unavailable temporarily but have resumed quickly as the government agencies and facilities have been put on high alert.

According to digital minister Audrey Tang (唐鳳), Tuesday saw a surge in web traffic for some government websites 23 times the normal rate but the incidents have been addressed in a timely manner, wrote CNA. Pelosi arrived on Tuesday night.

A probe into the digital signboards at some 7-Eleven stores and a rail station that were hacked to display anti-Pelosi messages has found Chinese software in the advertising systems run by contracted companies, said the National Communications Commission (NCC), a Cabinet-level regulator on telecommunication affairs.

NCC urged businesses to exercise vigilance when using Chinese software, which could render their systems vulnerable to backdoor attacks.