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China flag planted on Taiwan government websites by hackers

In response government agencies must now carry out security monitoring of websites every hour until next week

(Kaohsiung Drinking Water Bureau screenshot)

(Kaohsiung Drinking Water Bureau screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The flag of China was stealthily planted on the websites of several local government agencies across Taiwan, as China's live-fire drills encircling Taiwan were taking place from Thursday (Aug. 4).

A Kaohsiung government website was covered with a China flag picture for over 10 hours from late Friday to Saturday morning.

On Friday morning (Aug. 5), it was admitted the website of Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs crashed for a few hours on Aug. 2, 4, and 5. The ministry explained there was a brute force attempt to crash the server, with up to 17 million times per minute access attempts from numerous Chinese and Russian IP addresses.

As a result, central government agencies were told to stay on high alert for malicious internet activities. People familiar with the matter told Taiwan News that central government agencies have been ordered to keep tabs on websites and report problems up the chain of command to the Cabinet, every hour from Friday to noon on Monday (Aug. 8).

Emergency response guidelines issued by the Cabinet on Friday say a website has to be taken down immediately if it has been hacked.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Education on Saturday (Aug. 6) informed schools nationwide of its own emergency response guidelines to ensure cybersecurity, in which 24-hour security monitoring of each school website and an hourly update is required until next Monday.