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June 28, 2017

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Malicious emails did not result in leaks of military intel: official

TAIPEI--Malicious emails received by some members of the military recently did not cause any damage to the military's internal network or result in information leaks because of timely response measures, a defense official said yesterday.

Some members of the military recently received emails with subject lines related to Taiwan's Han Kuang military exercises that eventually proved to be embedded with viruses, Ministry of National Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he said in response to a local report earlier in the day.

They found the emails in the inboxes of their private email accounts, and the ministry's information security unit took immediate measures to deal with the problem, he said.

The Chinese-language United Evening News reported Sunday that the emails were sent to some members of the military one day after the ministry held a news conference on March 26 to brief the media on the details of this year's Han Kuang series of exercises.

The ministry could not rule out the possibility that the malicious emails were part of China's cyberattacks on Taiwan, Luo said, but added that it was difficult to identify the actual origin of such attacks.

Amid the growing threat of Chinese cyberattacks on Taiwan, the National Security Bureau, the Defense Ministry and other related government agencies will report on their readiness to prevent such attacks during a legislative committee hearing on Monday.

Meanwhile, an officer from a Chengkung-class frigate that was involved in a Han Kuang live-fire exercise in Penghu was given two major demerits for having been engaged in gambling with his subordinates onboard another vessel that was taking them back to Kaohsiung on April 19 after the drill, military sources said.

The annual Han Kuang exercises are Taiwan's most important war games. The first part of the exercises took place April 15-19, while the second part is slated for July and will involve computer-aided war games, according to the ministry.

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