A top Taiwan cyber official said Wednesday that Chinese hackers infiltrated at least 10 Taiwan government agencies and gained access to around 6,000 email accounts in an attempt to steal data, with the full impact still being assessed and the damage done was “not small.”
Since 2018, two well-known Chinese hacking groups — Blacktech and Taidoor — have been targeting government departments and information service providers, as per Taiwan Investigation Bureau’s Cyber Security Investigation Office.
“We know for sure that these 6,000 emails have been compromised. We are still assessing the extent of the damage. As far as we know, the damage done by this infiltration is not small. We are making this public because we want to alert everyone of the threat and stop further damage,” the office’s deputy director, Liu Chia-zung said.
Since 2016, Taipei had accused Beijing of stepping up a cyber campaign when Taiwan elected President Tsai Ing-wen, who refuses to acknowledge Beijing’s insistence that the self-ruled democratic island is part of “one China” and views Taiwan as a de facto independent. Tsai won re-election by a landslide in January in what was seen as a sharp rebuke to Beijing’s campaign to influence the island.
With this, Beijing has ramped up diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan. It also recently increased military drills near the island, including its jets breaching Taiwan’s air defense zone with unprecedented frequency in recent weeks.