HITCON opens with calls for Taiwan to learn hacking survival skills

08/19/2022 02:10 PM
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CNA photo Aug.19, 2022
CNA photo Aug.19, 2022

Taipei, Aug. 19 (CNA) HITCON, the annual congress of hackers in Taiwan, opened in Taipei on Friday determined to help companies and individuals in Taiwan learn survival skills in a virtual world where cyberwarfare and hacking attacks have become increasingly common.

"The world is being affected by the Russia-Ukraine war. Taiwan is a frontier of cyberwarfare and needs to pay attention to the situation and learn the necessary survival skills from hackers," said one of the event's conveners, Mars Cheng (鄭仲倫), at its opening ceremony.

The event, which drew over 1,000 participants this year, is Taiwan's largest security technology conference of hackers, who were gathered to "share the latest and advanced security technology and have discussions with everyone," according to the HITCON 2022 website.

This year, more than 30 security research reports and state-of-the-art technologies will be presented at the two-day meeting, and discussions will focus on the theme "Survival Guide for the Cyber War," said the Association of Hackers in Taiwan (HIT), which organized the event.

In his address, Cheng, a cyber threat researcher at IoT/ICS Security Research Labs of TXOne Networks and Trend Micro, said HITCON has grown from 50 participants when it was first held 18 years ago to 1,000 today, and its influence has extended to Japan and other Asia-Pacific countries.

As information security has grown "explosively" in many areas over the years, manpower demand and technology development have also soared, Cheng said, and information security has become a subject "about which people should have at least some knowledge."

Therefore, "HITCON hopes to convey to Taiwanese why information security is so important," he said, citing the example of the cyberwarfare being waged by Russia and Ukraine alongside their military conflict.

Also at the opening ceremony, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said hybrid cyber warfare is happening in Taiwan, after China launched military exercises around the island in early August.

She hoped everyone in Taiwan could improve their ability to identify misinformation, and that information security professionals would join in the government's efforts to strengthen Taiwan's overall resilience against cyberwarfare, Tsai said.

HITCON 2022, being held at the Nangang Exhibition Center, is also encouraging hackers to put their skills to good use, according to HIT.

"We hope that the energy and the spirit of the hacker community can keep protecting society and enterprises, and simultaneously satisfy the needs of the hacker community and enterprises," it said on the event's website.

(By Jeffrey Wu and Elizabeth Hsu)


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