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Taiwan faces widespread cyber attacks as tensions rise with China

Taiwan says it has been subject to a series of intensified cyber attacks since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island nation on 2 August.

The attacks come amid rising US and Taiwan tensions with China, which has voiced “strong opposition and serious representations” against Pelosi's visit.

According to the Taiwan government, the attacks were targeted at its official websites and online infrastructure including those of the Taiwan Ministry of National Defense (MND), the presidential office, and the foreign ministry.

Taiwan's MND said on 4 August that its website “was paralysed in the middle of the night” after enduring an attack. It added that part of its network had been subjected to “distributed denial-of-service attacks”.

The connection was restored after nearly one and a half hours after traffic cleaning and blocking of malicious relay stations, the MND added.

Taiwan's presidential office endured a similar attack ahead of Pelosi's visit, temporarily ceasing its operation, while the island's foreign ministry reportedly said on 2 August that its website had been hit with up to 8.5 million traffic requests per minute from computers based in China, Russia, and other places.

During a press conference on 3 August, Taiwan's Digital Minister Audrey Tang, said that “all public institutions in the country faced cyber attacks with a data volume of 15,000 gigabit”, exceeding “the normal attack data volume for a single day in the past by around 23 times”.

The MND said Taiwan's National Center for Cyber Security Technology (NCCST) was monitoring the attacks and is co-operating with government agencies to secure critical information and data.

China has announced that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will be conducting a series of military exercises around Taiwan during 4–7 August.

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