[This is an expert of the article. Read more at CNN]
In an exclusive interview with CNN last month, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu accused China of using military intimidation, disinformation campaigns and cyberattacks to undermine the Taiwanese population's trust in their own government.
"They want to shape Taiwanese people's cognition that Taiwan is very dangerous, and Taiwan cannot do without China," he said. "[But] Taiwan has some very good capability in dealing with cyberattacks. And that is because of our long experience dealing with the cyber activities initiated by the Chinese side."
Chien, the Taiwanese cybersecurity department leader, said the self-governing island has been subject to tens of millions of attacks monthly, a trend the government has recorded for at least the last few years.
But he said Taiwan has been able to defend against most attempts and serious breaches resulting in stolen data or paralyzed services numbered about 10 over the last year. Chien declined to go into specific details about those attacks, and was willing only to cite successful hacks of Taiwan's education system, which resulted in student data being stolen.
Even if a cyber intrusion is resolved, such attacks can have long-term consequences because of the kind of information that attackers can gain access to, according to Tsai Sung-ting, CEO of Team T5, a Taiwanese cybersecurity solution provider.
"We frequently observe that after they compromise an organization, the first thing is to steal the emails and documents," he said. "So even after you clean the infection this time, they may come back next month or a few months later. So I will say the threat is persistent."
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