Government Websites of Taiwan Have Been Attacked By Anonymous
Several websites of the government of Taiwan were crippled on Saturday, 1st of August 2015. The Asian hacktivist and activist entities who identify themselves as Anonymous have claimed responsibility for the attack. They have indicated that the attack on the government of Taiwan has just begun.
On the same Saturday, Anonymous boasted on Facebook of their conquests. Screenshots of the attacks of Education Ministry, National Defence Ministry, National Academy of Education Research, and the President’s Office in Taiwan, were posted on the page.
A botnet were used for the attack which majorly involves using multiple internet connections and devices to flood websites (DDoS). The attack, according to Anonymous, was achieved with the aid of their other branches in USA, Hong Kong, China, Canada, Philippines, and Taiwan.
The Department of Information and Technology Director at the Ministry of Education, Li Tsai-yen, confirmed the attacks after stating that some websites were down for 14 hours on the 1st of August. A total of two attacks were executed against the Ministry’s website by 1 am and 2 pm respectively. The attack by 1 am was rectified by 6 am while the 2nd attack by 2pm was rectified late into the night. Li Tsai-yen stated that it was the largest attack the ministry has experienced.
— halifaxanon (@halifaxanon) August 2, 2015
The Taipei police and the Criminal Investigation Bureau in Taiwan on Saturday gave the indication that the Education Ministry has not contacted them, neither have they been invited to probe the matter. The Ministry of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation department has, however, stated that they would start an investigation once an approval was granted to them by the relevant authorities.
The operation which was tagged “OpTaiwan” by the hackers is believed to be due to the curriculum revisions for textbooks for senior high school which have been controversial. The amendments, which were described as minor by the government, was intended to create a curriculum that will emphasize the identity of the Taiwanese and be more factually accurate. The critics, on the other hand, believe that it inserts an ideology which is China-centric into the curriculum as well as reduces the impact of the repressive authoritarian period.
The amendments were first published in February while the implementation was to commence on the 1st of August. A lot of students protested against the amendment leading to 24 students and 9 other Taiwanese being detained, after breaking into the Education Ministry of Taiwan. Another set of 200 students, however, stormed and camped inside the Education ministry after one of the arrested students committed suicide.
A branch of Anonymous from Canada, called the Halifax Nova Scotia, posted a message on their facebook page on Sunday afternoon.
In their statement, they claimed not to have participated in OpTaiwan even though they were in support of the operation, especially against the police of Taiwan. They stated that they will not allow the Taiwanese police to pepper spray, shoot at and beat peaceful protesters without taking any action against it. The message targeted at the Taiwanese police ended by stating that they should expect retaliation in the event that they continue to hurt and beat the Taiwanese.
Featured image from Shutterstock.