Science & Technology

Screens in Taiwan public places hacked to insult Pelosi

Beijing, Aug 4 (EFE).- Taiwan’s authorities said Thursday that several chain stores and government facilities had been hacked as United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was visiting the island, with insults appearing on public digital screens.

The Criminal Investigation Bureau said these were cyberattacks from unknown Internet IP addresses and is investigating the incident’s origin, state Taiwanese agency CNA said.

Several digital screens of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain displayed messages of “Pelosi, warmonger, leave Taiwan” that according to those responsible for the company came from outside their system.

The same thing happened at the Xinzuoying railway station in Kaohsiung and at a municipal office in Jushan, where messages seen on billboards referred to the US politician as an “old witch.”

The Taiwan Railway Administration said it had temporarily shut down these screens and remained vigilant to prevent further attacks on its ticketing system and train schedule information screens.

Chen Yaw-shyang, Taiwan’s National Communications Commission director, said preliminary investigations determined that companies affected by the attack used Chinese software in their digital screen systems. It said it could contain “back doors” or other channels that would have made them vulnerable to this type of intrusion.

The incidents occurred a day after Taiwan’s Presidency website was also temporarily down due to an external cyberattack.

All this occurred in the midst of controversy over Pelosi’s Wednesday visit to Taiwan, which was not officially announced and provoked the outrage of the Chinese government, which responded with trade sanctions on the island and a large display of military maneuvers in surrounding waters.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said 27 Chinese military aircraft entered its Air Defense Identification Zone on Wednesday as Pelosi was visiting.

A statement said J-16, J-11 and SU-30 fighters participated in the raid that “entered the surrounding area.”

During her stay of less than a day, Pelosi said the US “will not abandon” Taiwan, she praised the territory’s democratic system and was decorated by the President Tsai Ing-wen.

The trip marked the first visit by a US House Speaker to Taiwan since 1997, when Republican Newt Gingrich visited the island. It is also the highest-level visit by a US representative since that date, although several congressional delegations have passed through in recent months.

China, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan and considers the trip a provocation with which the North American country violates the existing status quo on this territory, one of the biggest reasons for bilateral conflict.

Washington is the main weapons supplier to the island and would be its greatest ally in the event of a war with China, which has not given up reunifying Taiwan, which it considers a rebellious province since Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949, after losing the civil war against the communists. EFE


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