Cyber-attacks from 7-11s at train stations in Taiwan over Pelosi visit

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Tsai Ing-wen and Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set up to meet Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. U.S. House of Representatives and Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a proposal at a meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan August 3, 2022.

As a U.S. House of Representatives and Speaker, Pelosi made a much brief visit to Taiwan this week she was enraged by Beijing and the welcome that she received from government officials with the public in absolute contrast with a different kind of message that instantly began popping up elsewhere on the island. On Wednesday, in some of its branches of 7-11 convenience stores in Taiwan, the television screens suddenly started to display the words stating "Warmonger Pelosi, get out of Taiwan!"

It was the largest 24-hour convenience store chain in Taiwan that was the victim of what Taiwanese authorities have been calling an unprecedented amount of these cyber-attacks on their government websites belonging to their presidential office, foreign and also defense ministries including the infrastructure such as screens on railway stations showing the protest against Pelosi's visit.

Taipei has not directly been blamed for the attacks on the Chinese government, but they have said that the attacks on government websites some kind of paralyzed the sites' operations that originated from the addresses registered in China and Russia. It was also said that the firms whose displays were now being changed had used Chinese software that could even have stored backdoors or even Trojan horse malware.

Taiwan's digital minister, Audrey Tang has also informed that the volume of cyber-attacks on Taiwan government units according to reports on Tuesday i.e. before and during Pelosi's arrival even surpassed 15,000 gigabits, 23 times higher than the previous daily record.

On Wednesday, Lo Ping-cheng, Taiwan Cabinet spokesman informed that the government had taken many security steps for key infrastructure including their power plants and airports. Thus, increasing the cyber security alertness level all across the government offices.

Threats on Pelosi’s visit

Pelosi's visit triggered and got many furious responses from the Chinese public and Beijing warning that the trip to the self-ruled island was regarded as their territory had infringed its sovereignty. On Thursday, China even fired missiles all around Taiwan, island as it was a series of unprecedented military drills.

A cyber-security research organization has also said that the attacks were against Taiwanese government websites and before that Pelosi's visit was very much likely to launch by Chinese activist hackers and not by the Chinese government. Hacker group APT 27 has also been accused by the Western authorities of being in a Chinese state-sponsored group.

They also claimed that the responsibility for these cyber-attacks on Taiwan on Wednesday was done to protest Pelosi had defied China's warnings and also claimed to shut down 60,000 internet-connected devices in Taiwan. Experts informed that these cyber-attacks are combined with China's live firing exercises and had even provided Taiwan's leadership with a preview of an invasion from China.

In current years, there are several reports from the think tanks on Taiwan and the United States relations that have emphasized the high likelihood and even in the event of a military assault on Taiwan, China would be the first to launch their debilitating cyber-security attack on Taiwan’s key infrastructure as its power grid.

Eryk Waligora has responded being a cyber-threats intelligence specialist at Accenture that the latest ones have appeared to be more theatre than being a threat yet. He also said that these past attacks are very much similar to a campaign between November last year up to February that had forced several financial institutions in Taiwan even to suspend their online transactions and was even more sophisticated both technically and damages perspective.

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