[ISN] Beijing wages cyberwar against DPP headquarters
wk at c4i.org
Thu Jun 17 06:48:52 EDT 2004
By Ko Shu-ling
June 16, 2004
An army of hackers based in China has broken into Democratic
Progressive Party (DPP) databases, stealing classified information
such as President Chen Shui-bian's (³¯¤ô«ó) personal itinerary,
according to a Cabinet official who asked not to be named.
"This is the first time we have found that the DPP headquarters'
computer systems were breached by Chinese hackers," the official said.
"The incident has sent jitters through the Ministry of National
Defense, which deems a systematic information attack launched by China
as military warfare."
Information stolen from party headquarters included the personal
itineraries of Chen, who doubles as DPP chairman, and those of other
high-ranking party officials such as DPP Secretary-General Chang
Also leaked was classified information on visits to the US by
high-ranking DPP officials ahead of the US presidential election.
According to the Cabinet official, the DPP headquarters was an easy
target and the attackers were aware it would be more difficult to
break into computer systems belonging to the Presidential Office or
the defense ministry, where security is tighter.
The attacks were noted a few days ago and the situation has been
monitored 24 hours a day since.
This is not the first time that China has conducted information
warfare against Taiwan. Last September, the Cabinet discovered that
hackers in Hubei and Fujian provinces had spread 23 different Trojan
horse programs to the networks of 10 private high-tech companies in
Taiwan and used them as a springboard to break into at least 30
different government agencies and 50 private companies.
The Trojan-horse programs were used against the National Police
Administration, the defense ministry, the Central Election Commission
and the central bank.
Since it appeared no government information had been stolen, the
Cabinet suspected that the program was likely aimed at paralyzing the
nation's computer systems, stealing sensitive government information
or preparing computers for future information warfare.
Trojan-horses are one of the most serious threats to computer
security. A computer user may not only have been attacked but may also
be attacking others unknowingly.
"Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence
without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
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