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July 28, 2017

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Chinese cyber-attacks worse than feared: NSB

Chinese hackers have been launching attacks on locally based websites of both the public and private sectors, stealing more than 26,000 pieces of information over the past seven years, Taiwan's top intelligence official said yesterday.

The actual scale of the data theft, however, could be "far more serious," as the 26,000 only refers to cases detected by the National Security Bureau (NSB), Director-General Tsai De-sheng (蔡得勝) said yesterday in Taipei.

The NSB head made the remarks when asked by several opposition lawmakers to comment on the latest developments in China's cyberwarfare campaign against Taiwan, during a question-and-answer session in the Legislative Yuan.

Over 1 Million Attacks

According to its own previous report, the NSB has been the target of more than 1 million cyber-attacks in the first half of this year alone.

The attacks are perceived as originating from China and mostly target government and security service websites, the report said.

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators said Beijing's relentless targeting of Taiwan shows its desire to invade the island-nation by all possible means, despite the appearance of warming cross-strait ties.

But despite the Chinese side's continuous cyberwarfare against Taiwan, the local government is considering opening up core telecommunications sector business to mainland investment, the DPP's Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said yesterday during the legislative session.

The government is considering allowing Chinese to invest in Type 1 telecommunications businesses, which include fixed line, mobile and satellite communications which require special permission to be established.

Such investment might pose a serious threat to Taiwan's national security, the lawmaker said.

In response, the NSB chief said the bureau has been beefing up its cyber defense capabilities in the face of the rising Chinese cyber-attacks.

The bureau has also voiced concern over the government's plan to allow Chinese investment in the telecommunications business, urging the government to deal with the issue "cautiously" before making a final decision, the NSB head said.

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