Taiwan looks to strengthen U.S. cyber relations to block Chinese threats
Mon 30 Mar 2015
Taiwan is planning to enter into a tighter cybersecurity partnership with the United States in a bid to tackle the rising amount of online attacks heading its way from China.
Authorities in Taiwan have announced their interest in seeking involvement in the international anti-hacking drill set up by the U.S., ‘Cyber Storm’. The exercise takes place every two years, with the last test taking place in 2013 in 11 countries.
“The U.S. has the Cyber Storm drill – we were not invited. We would like to be invited,” said Vice Premier Simon Chang.
China has officially denied any attempt at hacking in Taiwan. However security experts in the region suspect that the country is a major target due to long-engrained hostility from Beijing and tense cross-strait relations.
According to the U.S.-based network security firm FireEye, Taiwan was attacked more times than any other country in the Asia-Pacific region during the first half of 2014. The nation is often described as a testing ground for Chinese hacking attempts.
“Taiwan has no enemy in the international community except for you-know-who. Who in the world would try to hack Taiwan?” said Chang, formerly infrastructure COO at Google APAC.
“I don’t think raising this issue [with China] is any help […] You’re only going to let them know that you know what they’re doing. It’s only going to make them more cautious and more crafty,” he added.
Officials in charge of the Cyber Storm drill are expected to consider Taiwan’s application, given that China may use the cyberattacks tested in Taiwan to breach U.S. security. However, the Storm team must also weigh up the risk of raising alarm among Chinese leadership should it decide to involve Taiwan.
The last Cyber Storm trial in 2013 involved the U.S., Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Norway, Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, Canada and Hungary.