Google has observed a massive increase in Chinese cyberattacks on Taiwan in the past six months as tension soars between the two nations.
Kate Morgan, a senior engineering manager in Google’s threat analysis unit, said there are more than 100 groups in China alone trying to get into computers of Taiwan’s defense sector and government agencies.
There are also reportedly groups targeting the island nation’s private companies, likely to aid espionage activities.
“Taiwan is facing mounting military intimidation, gray-zone campaigns, cyberattacks, and information manipulation,” Morgan stressed, adding that the country “remains clear-eyed about the situation, and we continue to make our utmost effort to strengthen our defense capabilities and societal resilience.”
Employing Advanced Tactics
Speaking at the launch of a new Google cybersecurity center in Spain, Morgan disclosed that Chinese hackers are employing advanced tactics that make their attacks difficult to track.
One of them is breaking into small home or office internet routers to wage a bigger attack.
They have also developed a technique to mask their locations so cybersecurity authorities are not able to find them easily.
Both China and Taiwan’s foreign ministries have yet to issue a statement regarding the Google report.
Bracing for Cyberwar
In October, US Deputy National Security Adviser Anne Neuberger said the self-governed nation is well aware of China’s formidable capabilities in cyberspace.
Beijing-linked cyberattacks in recent years apparently prompted Taiwan to bolster its cyber resilience and brace for a potential cyberwar with its biggest enemy.
If that happens, she assured the island nation that Washington would provide support by sending its best teams to hunt down Chinese hackers.
Apart from China, Morgan said North Korea and Iran pose serious cybersecurity threats, which Taipei should also prepare for.