Taiwan condemns hack attacks on Palau; offers cybersecurity help – 台北時報

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  • Staff Writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s government has condemned a recent cyberattack targeting Palau and said it has been working closely with the Pacific island nation to beef up its cybersecurity to counter “authoritarian infiltration.”

Palau, a clump of about 350 small islands in the Pacific Ocean, has become increasingly important to the United States as China tries to build clout in the Indo-Pacific. This year, Washington finalized a long-delayed plan to give Palau hundreds of millions of dollars in aid over two decades.

According to a New York Times report published on June 2, Palau’s officials accused China of orchestrating the hacks in March during which over 20,000 confidential documents were stolen.


Photo: Reuters

The stolen documents, which later appeared on the dark web in April, reportedly contained confidential files on U.S. radar installations on Palau and crew lists of Japanese Navy ships that had visited Palau, the New York Times report said.

They also contained “hundreds of documents detailing the close relationship between Palau and Taiwan,” the report said.

Palau is one of only 12 countries worldwide that recognize Taiwan, officially named the Republic of China (ROC).

Officials in Palau told the newspaper that the attack was “politically driven” and that China was involved because it officially recognizes Taipei instead of Beijing.

“Everything points in that direction,” Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr. was quoted as saying in an interview. “It is unfortunate that China would do things like this,” he said, adding that Palau’s relationship with Taiwan remained “stronger than ever.”

In a statement, China’s Foreign Ministry told the New York Times that “it is extremely irresponsible for Palau to jump to conclusions and make unfounded accusations and smears against China without valid evidence.”

In Taipei , while asked about the report, MOFA issued a statement and said the ministry was aware of the March cyberattack targeting Palau and had a clear grasp of the so-called stolen documents.

Without directly naming the People’s Republic Of China (PRC), MOFA iterated Taiwan condemns “bad-intentioned people” and hacker groups for sabotaging global internet security.

Taiwan, which has also been a target of frequent cyberattacks as it battles “authoritarian expansion,” understands what Palau has been going through, MOFA said.

Taiwan is helping Palau strengthen its cybersecurity and digital resilience via a Taiwan Digital Opportunity Center in Palau and other cooperation projects to combat “authoritarian infiltration” and safeguard the rules-based international order, the ministry also said.

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