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MAC warns Taiwan schools of possible computer hacking by China

ROC Central News Agency

2019/11/07 21:51:41

Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the nation's top policymaking body on China, on Thursday warned schools in Taiwan of the need for stricter cyber security practices after it was confirmed that computer systems at a local university were hacked, alleging the attacks were carried out by China.

The MAC issued the warning as National Sun Yat-sen University confirmed that the e-mails of more than 10 scholars specializing in cross-strait studies at the school have been monitored for about three years.

The university said that the IP addresses where network intruders logged on were identified as being located in the United States, China and Hong Kong. The targets of the hack were all professors specializing in political science, cross-strait affairs and Taiwan public affairs.

Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正), deputy head and spokesman of the MAC, said that the government agency has contacted the Ministry of Education to gain a better understanding of the situation and asked it to urge schools to improve information security.

China is using "sharp power" to project its influence internationally, with the objective of limiting free expression and obstructing the normal operations of academic institutions in other countries, Chiu said.

The government will continue to implement the policy unveiled by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in a New Year's Day speech to set up a security network for cross-strait exchanges, consisting of three parts: securing people's livelihoods, protecting democracy in cross-strait interactions, and strengthening information security against threats of cyber attacks and disinformation, he added.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry said it will conduct checks at schools across Taiwan to determine whether other schools have been similarly hacked.

The ministry has set up critical information infrastructure facilities, including an information sharing and analysis center (ISAC), a computer emergency response team (CERT) and a security operations center (SOC) to deal with security issues on an organizational and technical level.

It also undertook to work more closely with other government departments and information security experts to enhance cyber security in the academic sector, the ministry added.

(By Miao Zong-han, Chen Chih-chung and Evelyn Kao)

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