Acer announces plan for cybersecurity school

10/20/2021 07:35 PM
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Acer Chairman Jason Chen at a product launch event on Oct. 14. CNA file photo
Acer Chairman Jason Chen at a product launch event on Oct. 14. CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 20 (CNA) After confirming Tuesday it had fallen victim to hackers for the second time recently, Acer has announced a plan to open a school aimed at cultivating Taiwan's next generation of cybersecurity talent.

Although stating that time was still needed to iron out the details, Acer Chairman Jason Chen (陳俊聖) told reporters Wednesday the firm had secured a license from the authorities to open the school.

The Acer chairman said the school would provide certified training, adding that Taiwan still lagged behind countries such as China, Russia, and North Korea when it came to cybersecurity.

Acer confirmed Tuesday that its systems in India and Taiwan had been breached by the same group of hackers recently, although the company did not identify the perpetrators.

Hackers from the Desorden Group claimed responsibility for the attack in an email to technology news outlet ZDNet.

Desorden told ZDNet it had stolen 60 GB of data after breaching Acer's servers, including customer, corporate and financial information.

The group explained the attack by saying: "Acer is way behind in its cybersecurity effects on protecting its data and is a global network of vulnerable servers."

In a statement posted on the Taiwan Stock Exchange Tuesday, where Acer's shares are traded, the PC vendor said it detected hacking attacks on its after-sales services systems in India and other systems in Taiwan, but added that no customer information was stolen in the latter breach.

Acer said the cyberattacks had been reported to law enforcement and related agencies in both Taiwan and India, but stated that its operations had not been interrupted and any material financial impact was unlikely.

Later on Wednesday, Chen said only information about Acer's local employees had been stolen in the attack on its systems in Taiwan and that no confidential business information had been taken.

Chen said the hackers in the two attacks had asked for a ransom but that Acer declined to pay it.

Instead, Chen said Acer responded to the attacks by initiating security protocols and conducting a full scan of its systems to restore the operations soon. However, he admitted there were still loopholes in Acer's cybersecurity protection.

In March, Acer was hit by the REvil hacker group, with the group announcing the breach and asking the company to pay US$50 million in ransom.

According to tech news website BleepingComputer, REvil displayed images of allegedly stolen files as proof, including Acer's financial spreadsheets, bank balances, and bank communications.

Despite ZDNet reporting that Acer had originally offered to pay REvil US$10 million, Chen said his company did not pay the ransom but responded to the incident by notifying police.

(By Jiang Ming-yan and Frances Huang)

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