Taiwan addressing cybersecurity talent shortage amid China threat

04/05/2018 04:49 PM
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Image taken from Pixabay
Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, April 5 (CNA) Taiwan is to set up a cybersecurity academy at the Cabinet level to address a deficit of skilled cybersecurity personnel in the government, amid concern over increasing threats that are mostly blamed on Chinese hackers, a senior official said Thursday.

The significant rise in the number of successful cyberattacks against Taiwanese government agencies since the latter half of last year has added urgency to the issue of the cybersecurity skill shortage, said Chien Hung-wei (簡宏偉), head of the Cabinet's Department of Cyber Security.

Chien said that government agencies face anything between 20 million and 40 million hacking attempts every month, the majority of which originate in China judging by their characteristics and the types of the attacks.

Of those attempts to breach the government's multi-layer defense system, 360 were successful last year alone, Chien went on.

In terms of level of seriousness, most of those incidents were classified as either level 1 or level 2 breaches that resulted in unauthorized changes to government websites, according to Chien.

He said that a total of 12 incidents were classified as level 3 breaches, including the leaking of personal information of about 15,000 users of the overseas travel registration system run by the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

While Taiwan has not suffered a successful attack -- defined as the most serious level 4 that will cripple the government's ability to function -- it has increasingly experienced more successful attacks as the hackers have become more sophisticated and devious in their attacks, he said.

Chien said that his department has established a group of people with cybersecurity skills and will dispatch them to each Cabinet-level agency later this month to increase each agency's ability to detect and respond to cyber threats.

Noting that the government still faces a deficit of 552 cybersecurity professionals, Chien said that the cybersecurity academy is expected to be launched in September, offering training in collaboration with schools and industry, to public functionaries.

(By Ku Chuan and Shih Hsiu-chuan)

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