Taiwan presidential office website hit by cyberattack ahead of Pelosi visit

Bigger Attack: NBC News reported that other Taiwanese government websites were also down ahead of Pelosi’s visit, including the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport website, where the Pelosi’s plane has landed.

All three websites were operational at the time of publication. Doug Madory, director of internet analytics at traffic monitoring group Kentik, said on Tuesday that his company tracked attacks on all three websites, describing the DDoS incidents as “effective even if they weren’t breaking records.” . He noted that overall internet traffic for Taiwan appeared “pretty normal”.

John Hultquist, vice president of intelligence analysis at cybersecurity group Mandiant, said on Tuesday that the company was tracking an overall increase in Chinese threats against Taiwan. This included two “China information operations” switching tactics to spread misinformation about the dangers of Pelosi’s visit.

“We anticipate that Chinese actors will also conduct significant cyber espionage against targets in Taiwan and the United States to provide intelligence on the crisis,” Hultquist said.

While he did not link DDoS attacks to China, Hultquist cautioned that “on rare occasions, Chinese state actors have been linked to DDoS capability, destructive attack, and possible critical infrastructure survey. Nevertheless, we believe that China is capable of carrying out significant cyberattacks inside Taiwan and abroad.

Low level: James Lewis, director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, played down the attacks, noting that they were likely not directly linked to the Chinese government, and describing them as “cries of rage”.

“DDOS stands for ‘patriotic hackers,’ amateur Chinese hackers expressing their displeasure,” Lewis said on Tuesday. “Fairly normal things for Chinese netizens, don’t even need official encouragement.”

A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC did not respond to a request for comment on the attacks. A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions about whether the Biden administration was monitoring cyber threats in Taiwan.

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