Taiwan said on Wednesday August 19 that hacking groups which were linked to the Chinese government had attempted to gain access and attack at least ten government agencies, as well as 6,000 email accounts of government officials in order to steal important data.
Taiwan has urged its people to be on alert for any dangerous attempts of what officials refer to as an “omnipresent infiltration” from China.
The Deputy Director of the Taiwan Investigation Bureau’s Cyber Security Investigation Office, Liu Chia-zung, has claimed that “Chinese hacking groups have been infiltrating government agencies and their information service providers for a long time”.
He added that these hacking groups “were aiming to acquire important government documents and data”.
He did point out that “Some government data might have been leaked”, with this posing “a great threat” to the security of the whole nation.
These attacks have been identified to have started from as early as 2018, targeting at least ten government agencies and the email accounts of around 6,000 officials, according to Liu’s office.
The office also added that it had not been able to identify what data was stolen as the hackers had covered their tracks very well.
Additionally, four of the ten agencies that were hacked were Taiwan tech companies that were providing information services to the government.
In response to these claims, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office refused to comment, with the Chinese government often denying any sort of involvement in hacking, punishing severely those who take part in it.
Liu added that after numerous investigations, Taiwan believed that the two hacking groups behind the attack, Blacktech and Taidoor, were backed by the Chinese Communist Party, targeting loopholes in Taiwan’s information service provider systems.
He called for government agencies to increase the scrutiny of their providers, in order to ensure that this does not happen again.
The news of the hacking comes after the tension between China and Taiwan escalated, with China also facing plenty of backlash for its security policy on Hong Kong.
China has recently increased its military activity in areas near Taiwan, and has often used force in order to control the island.