Chinese hackers have recently launched a network attack for targeting people attending a US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference.
The attack was attempted this month at the conference, held in Virginia State of USA. The conference was attended by defense officials, defense industry representatives, security experts and think-tank scholars.
The hacking was attempted through Chinese phishing email, asking recipients to open the message. The email contained malicious software that would have allowed the hackers to enter all systems connected to that computer network.
The association has been a target of hacking for years, and has been vigilant about hacking attacks, Lotta Danielson, vice president of the US-Taiwan Business Association, which sponsored the conference. When Danielson saw the suspicious email, she immediately notified all participants of the conference and forwarded the email to security expert.
The email was directed at Taiwan’s defense industry, she was quoted as saying by Voice Of America Friday.
"While it is not possible to prove that China was behind the hacking attempt, there are ways to infer the identity of the hackers," Steven Adair, founder of Washington-area network security company Volexity, said.
“We’ve seen the same kinds of attacks and malware that have specific Chinese features, and some malware that only Chinese hacker groups use,” Adair told a seminar organized by Washington-based think tank Global Taiwan Institute.
Taiwan’s democratic government is a real threat to the legitimacy of Chinese’s communist government, Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute, said. Taiwan faces huge challenges, and that cyberattacks from China are one of them, he added.
However, Taiwan has excellent network talents, and that the United States and Taiwan should strengthen their cooperation on cybersecurity issues because they face the same threats, Stokes said.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense plans to set up a special cybersecurity unit within the army, because of the increasing cyberattacks against Taiwan in recent years. The new plan is highly necessary because Chinese hackers have attacked Taiwan more often than they have attacked the US, Hong Kong and mainland China itself.
Taiwan believes Chinese hackers have infiltrated Taiwan’s defense, foreign affairs, air traffic control and communication systems.