Taiwan security official warns of crippling Chinese cyberattacks

Chinese cyberattacks could disrupt Taiwan's infrastructure, said a top security official

Chinese cyberattacks targeting Taiwan are moving beyond stealing sensitive information, and could be capable of crippling the island's transportation and financial systems, a top security official claimed on Wednesday.

"Before, China's cyberattacks focused on stealing our information," said Tsai De-sheng, director general of Taiwan's National Security Bureau. "However, now we've discovered that they're not just stealing information, but possibly gradually focused on destroying our infrastructure."

Tsai made his comments during a committee meeting of Taiwan's legislature that was later broadcast online through local media. The dangers of a Chinese cyberattack against the island's government and private groups are "considerably serious," he said.

Chinese hackers have already stolen information, which include data on Taiwanese employees. The attacks are so severe that they've become more dangerous to global security than terrorist attacks, he added.

In response, Taiwan's national security council and the executive branch have established an information security office. Even Taiwan's president Ma Ying-jeou is paying attention to the problem, Tsai said.

Tsai's warnings add to mounting concerns that China is behind sophisticated hacking attacks against foreign companies. Last month, U.S. security firm Mandiant claimed that a Chinese military unit had stolen data from at least 141 companies since 2006.

Chinese authorities, however, have rejected accusations that the government sponsors hacking, and said the nation is also a victim of cyber attacks. "Cyber space needs not war, but rules and cooperation," said China's foreign minister Yang Jiechi earlier this month.

In 2011, a Taiwanese political party also accused China of hacking its systems to access data on its election activities. The attacks were traced to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency, and allegedly involved a phishing campaign to monitor computers used by the political party.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags intrusionsecurityTaiwan National Security Bureaugovernment

More about Xinhua News Agency

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Michael Kan

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place