Ko reveals Taipei repelled mainland cyber attack
Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je ( ) may have jeopardized an ongoing government investigation led by the Department of Information Technology (DIT, ) by accidentally revealing to the press yesterday afternoon that a secretary’s computer at the Taipei mayor’s office was hacked earlier in April, stated DIT Commissioner Lee Wee-bin ( ).
In response, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Councilor Hsu Shu- hua ( ) slammed the DIT, questioning the information safety and network security of the Taipei City Government and demanding a clear explanation from the department.
Lee later confirmed that a hacker planted a Trojan horse in a secretary’s computer at the mayor’s office earlier in April, while also attacking another 11 computers, though they resisted the cyber assault. The implanted program then sent emails to other Taipei bureaus and requested confidential personal data of public officials and consultants. The scandal was discovered until after agencies receiving the emails verified their authenticity with the secretary. The incident was then reported to the DIT.
The DIT enlisted professional antivirus firms to assist in investigating the incident. The companies confirmed that the mayor’s personal computer was not hacked, and said that cyber security measures will be stepped up at Ko’s personal residence, out of an abundance of caution.
According to the DIT, the source of the hack was traced to mainland China. The department had initially planned to remain silent about the hacking attempt in a bid to trace the program back to whomever planted it. However, Lee said, “it may be difficult to carry on this investigation now that the event has been revealed to the press.”
Taipei City Government spokesman Sidney Lin ( ) said that the city government has enhanced its network security to ensure that no information will be leaked.