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Premier Lai wants integrated financial information security system

2017/10/12 16:21:05

Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德)/CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 12 (CNA) Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said Thursday that an integrated platform for information security and data protection in the finance sector must be set up in Taiwan by the end of the year.

Lai issued the directive to the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) at a regular Cabinet meeting in the wake of a recent case of bank theft by means of computer hacking, according to Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇).

In the meeting, the premier noted that while the FSC has been promoting information security in the finance sector for years, there have been occasional cases of cyber security breaches in Taiwan, Hsu said.

Stressing that information security is vital to national security, Lai asked the FSC to examine the holes in the existing financial system and set up an integrated system by the end of the year, which would provide better information security and data protection, Hsu said.

Protection of the overall information infrastructure, particularly in the finance sector, is a priority for the Cabinet, Lai said, according to Hsu.

Last week, Far Eastern International Bank (遠東商銀) reported that hackers had breached its online transaction system and stolen some US$60 million.

FSC Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said the system was hacked mainly because Far Eastern International Bank did not follow standard operating procedures.

In response to the premier's directive Thursday, Koo said that later this month, the FSC would contract out the task of establishing an integrated platform for information security and data protection.

The FSC will also investigate the malware attack on Far Eastern International Bank in an effort to find any other security holes in its information system, he said.

Far Eastern International Bank said it was hacked by means of a computer virus, and some US$60 million was wired from the accounts of its customers to those of the suspects.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication's (SWIFT) network was also compromised, which allowed the hackers to wire money to international destinations such as Sri Lanka, Cambodia and the United States, Far Eastern International Bank said.

(By Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao)