Taiwan Believes China Will Launch Cyberattacks

(RepublicanDaily.org) – As it prepares for a presidential election in January, Taiwan says it is stepping up its alert level in anticipation a likely stronger and more frequent spate of cyber attacks from China.

The U.S.’ deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technologies, Anne Neuberger, said that the U.S. will be prepared to back Taiwan up and will assist in helping strengthen the country’s cybersecurity and digital resilience. As part of that assistance, the U.S. will send its best teams to track cyber criminals, which is its standard operating procedure when providing cybersecurity assistance to allied countries.

The U.S. will be “putting our best teams to hunt on their most sensitive networks to help identify any current intrusions,” Neuberger said, adding that the U.S will also “help remediate and make those networks as strong as possible.”

In addition to cybersecurity assistance, the U.S. is also currently conducting military tabletop games and exercises with Taiwan’s own forces.

China has long been a dangerous security threat in terms of its capability to conduct cyber attacks – the Center for Strategic and International Studies says that for years, China has been conducting cyber probes of many other countries for vulnerabilities in their infrastructure. This includes the U.S., which the organization says has been a target since the Obama administration. Especially since the U.S. – despite its “One China” policy – has expressed support for Taiwan, it is possible that certain U.S. infrastructures could be targets for an attack in an effort to “usefully disrupt communications and the flow of material needed for military operations.”

Also, given China’s aggressive stance in “claiming” territories it believes it owns – Taiwan especially – the latter has been under constant threat of cyberattacks. Internet security software provider Fortinet detected an average of 15,000 incidents of cyberattacks per second against Taiwan. According to Fortinet, the number of malware attacks against Taiwan for the first half of the year came to a staggering 22.48 billion.

The most common attacks include distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks as well as DoublePulsar, which uses “backdoors” in computer systems both to secretly collect information as well as implant malicious viruses and code.

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