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China’s cyberattacks on Taiwan surge ahead of presidential inauguration

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China’s cyberattacks against Taiwan have increased to the extent of 2.5 million a day ahead of the presidential inauguration, the National Security Bureau (NSB) stated on Thursday, as per Taiwan News.

Following the January 13 presidential and legislative elections, the intelligence agency found that China was launching 1 million cyberattacks daily, Taiwan News reported, citing CNA.

The surge ahead of the May 20 presidential inauguration is mostly directed against government bodies.

According to Taiwan News, NSB officials responded to lawmakers’ inquiries, stating that disinformation and cyberattacks were frequent. However, they affirmed that they would continue to monitor Chinese activities and identify loopholes in Taiwanese networks.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the authorities were investigating allegations that confidential documents had ended up on a hacker’s website.

Officials emphasised that all secret documents at the ministry are marked with a watermark or password, making it unlikely that insiders leaked the information.

During a speech at the CyberSec information security conference on Wednesday, President-elect Lai Ching-te voiced his support for the development of the local cybersecurity sector.

He said that as Taiwan was such a frequent target for cyberattacks and disinformation, it would emerge stronger.

Recently, on April 11, Taiwan News also reported the same suspicion that the sole ruling party of China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), could attempt to disrupt President-elect Lai Ching-te’s May 20 inauguration by hacking into websites and electronic billboards and sabotaging the southern power grid.

An official also told ‘Liberty Times,’ a local Taiwanese newspaper, on May 9 that Chinese hackers could target government websites and public screens on May 20, potentially inserting sarcastic congratulatory messages or pro-CCP propaganda to embarrass Lai.

China has intensified pressure on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after the January elections, as per Taiwan News.

An official revealed that China has been seeking information about the content of Lai’s inauguration speech through academics based in Hong Kong and Macau.