MND to harden cybersecurity ahead of drills – 台北時報

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The legislature is today to hear from officials on proposals to allow the surveillance of telecom metadata for use in criminal cases, sources said

  • By Chen Chih-cheng, Aaron Tu and Jonathan Chin / Staff reporters, with staff writer

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday launched a comprehensive cybersecurity initiative to patch Internet vulnerabilities ahead of next month’s annual Han Kuang training exercises.

Entities under the ministry are required to patch known vulnerabilities and report any suspicious Internet activity in their networks over the first four days of the 11-day initiative, starting today, the General Staff Headquarters said in a communique obtained by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper).

Each entity is to organize a task force to surveil their cybersecurity environment in the three days following the implementation of the initial patches, it said.


Photo: Reuters

Any new suspicious activity or vulnerabilities that the task forces detect should be reported, tracked and rectified in the final four days of the initiative, the headquarters said.

Additionally, organizations under the ministry are to ensure that all mandatory software updates have been applied, backups have been made, and the password protection or encryption of sensitive information has been properly implemented, it said.

Ministry Web sites should be monitored for signs of “digital vandalism,” denial of service attacks or other hacks that should be addressed, it said.

The initiative comes two days after the Criminal Investigation Bureau’s Web site experienced an outage. The incident triggered media concern over the government’s data security, although a bureau spokesperson later said the incident was caused by hardware failure and not an attack.

Separately, National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥) is today scheduled to appear before lawmakers in a hearing of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

Legislators requested his presence to clarify issues concerning the government’s proposed amendments to the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法), sources said.

Lawmakers on the committee were unable to agree on several provisions of the bill regarding the government’s power to surveil telecom metadata and use it in criminal prosecutions, they said.

Officials from the National Communications Commission and Chunghwa Telecom were also asked to attend the hearing today, sources said.

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