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June 23, 2017

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KMT legislator makes case for improved cyber warfare abilities

TAIPEI--A ruling Kuomintang (KMT) legislator called yesterday on the government to beef up its cyber warfare capability, while the opposition party demanded that the government call an international news conference over the shooting by a Philippine government vessel on an unarmed Taiwanese fishing boat that resulted in the death of a Taiwanese fisherman last week.

KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao said the KMT legislative caucus asked the Philippine government to appeal to its netizens not to launch cyber attacks against Taiwan prior to midnight that day, a deadline given by Taiwan for the Philippines to meet several demands, including a formal apology, or face sanctions.

If Manila does not offer any goodwill response by then, the government should "block the Philippines' IP links" to Taiwanese websites, Lai said.

He also said that the Ministry of National Defense should beef up its cyber warfare combat ability, and added that he will ask the Legislature to promote the inclusion of network security in its national budget in an effort to upgrade national network security and cyber combat capability.

A cyber war has been raging between Taipei and Manila Internet users since the May 9 shooting.

Taiwan's Presidential Office confirmed Sunday that its official website was attacked by hackers traced to the Philippines.

According to local media reports, 40 percent of the Philippine government's official websites were also paralyzed that day by hackers from Taiwan and even from China.

Minister Without Portfolio Chang San-cheng said that the government has since Sunday blocked the Philippines' IP links togovernment web pages.

He also said the local governments of Taipei, New Taipei, Tainan and Taoyuan, as well as 40 private enterprises, have suffered cyber attacks.

Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Yeh Yi jin said the party supports the government's demands for a formal apology, compensation for the victim's family, punishment for those responsible and open fishery talks as soon as possible, the conditions Taiwan have demanded.

She also complained that the English-language section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website has not explained the shooting to the world.

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