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Hacker attack fears grow ahead of Taiwan presidential inauguration | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Shortly before the inauguration of Taiwan’s President-elect Lai Ching-te on Monday, a politician specializing in defence issues told dpa that there are growing concerns about hacker attacks from China.

“I think they will definitely attack our infrastructure by May 20,” Shen Po-yang, a lawmaker from Lai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), told dpa in an interview on Saturday.

The parliamentarian, also known as Puma Shen, expressed his concerns based on earlier incidents.

When Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the US House of Representatives, visited Taiwan in August 2022, much to Beijing’s annoyance, hackers took control of digital boards in some convenience stores and a railway station and used them to spread messages against Pelosi.

China usually rejects accusations of hacker attacks.

Shen is one of the founders of the Kuma Academy, which aims to raise social awareness of possible warfare by offering courses about civil defence skills.

Other Taiwanese politicians have also warned of the danger of hack attacks.

Shen considers it possible that falsified videos targeting Taiwan’s new president could emerge in the days following Lai’s inauguration.

“I think we should strengthen our cybersecurity because the hackers from China are pretty powerful,” Shen said.

“We also need to protect our information space and make sure that the Chinese propaganda and narratives could not be spread by bots here in Taiwan,” Shen said.

Shen suspects that Beijing’s plan behind the disinformation campaigns is to persuade more people in Taiwan to give up in the event of an invasion.

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the self-governing democracy of over 23 million people part of its territory.

Lai, who won the presidential election with around 40% of the vote in January, and his government are due to be inaugurated on Monday. However, his party lost its majority in parliament and has faced challenges in the current legislative session, which started in February.

The Chinese Communist Party considers the independence-leaning DPP to be separatist and has threatened to invade Taiwan if the party makes any formal moves towards independence. The DPP says Taiwan already functions as an independent state and does need to make any formal declaration.

However, Lai said on May 14 at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2024 that his administration will work to safeguard the status quo and “will not rule out dialogue with China on the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefits and dignity, with no preconditions.”

Taiwanese army soldiers stand in a group during a rehearsal. Taiwan's elected President Lai Ching-te is to be inaugurated on May 20. Johannes Neudecker/dpa

Taiwanese army soldiers stand in a group during a rehearsal. Taiwan’s elected President Lai Ching-te is to be inaugurated on May 20. Johannes Neudecker/dpa

Taiwanese army soldiers fire salutes during a rehearsal. Taiwan's elected President Lai Ching-te is to be inaugurated on May 20. Johannes Neudecker/dpaTaiwanese army soldiers fire salutes during a rehearsal. Taiwan's elected President Lai Ching-te is to be inaugurated on May 20. Johannes Neudecker/dpa

Taiwanese army soldiers fire salutes during a rehearsal. Taiwan’s elected President Lai Ching-te is to be inaugurated on May 20. Johannes Neudecker/dpa

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