Minister alleges the island continues to be ‘testing ground’ for Chinese cyber army.
Taiwan’s science and technology minister, Simon Chang, has accused China of engaging in cyber warfare with Taiwan even as the relationship has gradually improved between the two.
During an interview with a local radio station, Chang said Chinese hackers attack Taiwan on a regular basis with the sole aim of stealing confidential information related to cross-strait negotiations.
He also accused China of treating Taiwan as a testing ground for Chinese hackers to experiment with new hacking technologies.
According to military officials, Taiwanese government websites frequently bear the brunt of digital bombardments from China, usually during disputes between the two sides.
Last year, reports emerged of China using spear phishing emails that prompt users to click on a relevant document, installing a backdoor that allows access to the system.
Taiwan National Security Bureau also spoke of more than 3 million hacking attempts from China in the space of 12 months. China repeatedly denied all the allegations.
Chang said that although the Taiwanese military has set up its own cyber units but that they are hopelessly outnumbered by China’s vast ‘army of online warriors’.
Though the ties have improved markedly between the two former rivals since 2008; two countries even signed the landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement in June 2010, Taiwan says nothing seems to have changed on the ground.
Part of the suspicion also stems from the fact that Beijing has not yet given up the use of force against the island, and continues to regard it as its own territory even though Taiwan has been long been an autonomous region.