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Google Says Cyberattacks On Taiwan Intensified

According to Google cybersecurity experts, there has been a ‘massive increase’ over the past six months in Government-sponsored attacks by China aimed at the Taiwanese government and its industries.

Kate Morgan, a senior engineering manager in Google’s threat analysis division, who monitors government-sponsored hacking campaigns, said Chinese hackers are engaging in hard-to-track tactics, even resorting to breaking into small home and office internet routers and repurposing them to attack while hiding the attack’s origin.

“The number of groups in China that are performing hacking and trying to get into technology companies or get into cloud customers is huge,” Morgan said. “I don’t have the exact number, but it is probably over 100 groups that we are tracking just out of China alone.”

The reports are troubling, considering Morgan said that the hackers have a broad focus on who and what they are targeting and that they are “after everything,” counting the defence sector, government, and private industry of Taiwan.

The hackers started their attack because Tawain is seen as a friend of the U.S., the island’s top military backer. After the relationship between the U.S. has deteriorated, as too did Taiwan’s and China’s.

Taiwan and China specifically are at odds due to a number of issues including human rights and a race to dominate innovated technologies such as quantum computing, chips, and artificial intelligence.

Before the new Google information was released, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen recently said that China is too “overwhelmed” to plan out a major invasion of the island.

“Taiwan is facing mounting military intimidation, gray-zone campaigns, cyberattacks and information manipulation,” she said. “Taiwan remains clear eyed about the situation, and we continue to make our utmost effort to Strengthen our defence capabilities and societal resilience.”

Other threats Morgan warns that should be monitored for cyber threats are North Korea, Iran and Russia, though the country has been focused solely on Ukraine.

Morgan released this information at the launch of the newest Google cybersecurity center in Malaga, Spain, which will be considered a new Google hub and “safety engineering center” housing house roughly 100 security experts. The other two are in Dublin and Munich.

The hub will be used by Google and subsidiaries, like Mandiant and Virus Total, so that the tech giant can easily work with European businesses and government officials to improve cyber resilience in the region.

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