Taiwan defense ministry hit by cyberattacks in Pelosi aftermath
The website of Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense was hit with a cyberattack on Wednesday in the aftermath of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visiting the island.
Taiwan’s Military News Agency reported that the ministry’s website went offline temporarily after being hit with a distributed denial-of-service attack, which disrupted the website with excessive traffic.
The ministry said officials are continuing to strengthen monitoring for attacks as it works with other authorities to maintain information security.
Taiwan’s presidential office was hit with a similar attack on Tuesday, the day that Pelosi visited, flouting stern warnings from China. The attack caused 200 times more than the normal weekday traffic, temporarily crashing the website.
Though it’s unclear who is behind the cyberattacks, China has been retaliating in various ways after Pelosi became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the self-governing island in 25 years.
The Chinese government announced it would conduct military exercises in six maritime regions and the air space off Taiwan between Thursday and Sunday, which Taiwan’s defense ministry condemned and called “military intimidation” from the Chinese Communist Party.
China has also banned imports of products from more than 100 Taiwanese companies.
A spokesperson for Taiwan’s executive branch said at a press conference that the government must prepare for the risks of foreign cyberattacks and that Premier Su Tseng-chang directed relevant agencies and ministries to enhance cybersecurity in the public and private sectors.
Cyberattacks have also hit private companies. The Guardian reported that the message “Warmonger Pelosi get out of Taiwan” flashed on TV screens in 7-Eleven stores on Wednesday, with the chain’s parent company telling Taiwanese media it was hacked.