U.S. will team up with allies to tackle cyber attacks: Bolton

09/21/2018 03:49 PM
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John Bolton / CNA file photo
John Bolton / CNA file photo

Washington, Sept. 20 (CNA) John Bolton, national security adviser to United States President Donald Trump, promised Thursday to cooperate with allies, including Taiwan, to tackle cyber attacks from adversary countries.

"Americans and our allies are under attack every day in cyberspace. Malicious nation-state, criminal, and terrorist actors seek to steal our intellectual property and our personal information, damage our infrastructure, and even undermine our democracy through the use of cyber tools," Bolton told a news briefing held at the White House.

According to Bolton, the U.S. is facing intensified cyber threats from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

In response to a question about reports that Taiwan has been targeted by increased cyber attacks from China and if the U.S. is considering talking to its counterparts in Asia regarding this issue, Bolton replied: "there will be consultations -- there have been already -- with our friends and allies, because many of us are vulnerable to the same hostile actions."

"And I think it's very important that we work through our alliance structures, where we can do that. And I think that's part of the deterrent effect that our adversaries ought to think about, that we do have a robust structure of international alliances, and we intend to keep them strong in cyberspace," he stressed.

"For any nation that's taking cyber activity against the United States, they should expect -- and this is part of creating structures of deterrence, so that it's publicly known as well -- we will respond offensively as well as defensively. And beyond that, I'm just not going to go at this point," he said.

According to a recent Bloomberg News report, Taiwan has seen a bout of cyber attacks from China as local elections approach.

"Taiwan is bracing for an onslaught of cyber attacks from mainland China ahead of local elections in November intended to undermine a president who has defied Beijing's efforts to bring the democratically ruled island under its control," the Sept. 20 report said.

"China, along with Russia and North Korea, may be increasingly testing out cyber hacking techniques in Taiwan before using them against the U.S. and other foreign powers," a Taiwanese government source was cited as saying.

The tests involve new malware tools mostly used to target government agencies including Taiwan's foreign and economic ministries, Howard Jyan (簡宏偉), director general of the cyber security department under the Executive Yuan, told Bloomberg News.

"Based on matching patterns, sophistication and other characteristics it's likely that the majority of the cyber attacks come from groups supported by China," Jyan said.

"We believe the number of cyber attacks will rise before the elections. Hackers and organizations will try to intervene," he added.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Flor Wang)


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