Taiwan’s major government websites were forced temporarily offline by cyberattacks believed to be aimed at US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s island nation, Taipei said on Thursday. During the visit, China and Russia are connected.
The websites of the presidential office, the foreign ministry and the main government English portal came under attack on Tuesday night as Pelosi arrived on a historic visit that angered Beijing.
China, which claims self-ruled Democratic Taiwan will one day occupy its territory, responded Thursday by launching its largest-ever military exercises around the island.
Taiwan’s defense ministry also said its website was offline for an hour around midnight on Wednesday because of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
DDoS is a simple blocking attack that overloads a website with requests for information. It does not involve hacking.
According to Taiwan’s foreign ministry, the attacks on its website and the government’s English portal were linked to Chinese and Russian IP addresses that attempted to access the websites 8.5 million times per minute.
“Since cyber attacks by foreign hostile forces can still occur at any time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will remain vigilant,” spokesman Juan Ou told reporters on Thursday.
The presidential office said it would increase its surveillance in the face of “hybrid information warfare by external forces.”
Taipei has accused Beijing of increasing cyber attacks since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, who views the island as an independent country and not part of China.
Taiwan’s government agencies face about five million cyber attacks and investigations every day, officials have said.
In 2020, Taiwanese authorities said Chinese hackers infiltrated at least 10 Taiwanese government agencies and gained access to nearly 6,000 email accounts in an attempt to steal data.
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