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Chinese plan to hack into Taiwan websites

AFP, The Straits Times, 10 October 2000

Hackers from mainland who attacked several government websites in May this year are likely to strike again as Taiwan celebrates its National Day

TAIPEI -- Chinese hackers have threatened to destroy Taiwan's websites as the island state celebrates national day today, television reports said.

The Chinese hackers may hack into major government websites as well as some civil websites close to President Chen Shui-bian, the cable television station TVBS said yesterday.

It said that the Chinese hackers, who succeeded in attacking several government websites after Mr Chen was sworn in on May 20, were likely to launch the attacks between late yesterday night and this morning.

It is believed the Chinese hackers want to embarrass Taiwan's new government, it said.

Tensions between Taipei and Beijing have escalated since Mr Chen came to power.

China believes that Mr Chen harbours pro-independence ambitions.

However, a top Taiwanese government official dismissed the looming threat of cyberspace warfare.

The news has yet to be confirmed, said Ms Tsai Ing-wen, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, which formulates the island's mainland policy towards China.

But we have done everything necessary to be prepared. The factors have been taken into consideration when we implemented national security measures, she said.

Computer hackers from Taiwan and China battled it out on the Internet in August last year after then Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui characterised Taiwan's relationship with the mainland as special state-to-state ties.

China was outraged by the term, which it saw as a claim for independent status.

The websites of several Taiwanese government agencies, including the Control Yuan, Pintung county government, the Cabinet-level Construction and Planning and Administration body and several universities were ruined by viruses from the mainland.

The message sent by Chinese hackers had read: Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory and will always be. The Taiwan government headed by President Lee cannot deny it. Only one China exists and only one China is needed.

Local hackers later fought back, posting Taiwan's national flag and national anthem on the websites of China's railway ministry.

And a message proclaimed that only one Taiwan exists and only one Taiwan is needed. --AFP