Kaohsiung City EPB Website Hacked on Aug. 4 高市環保局飲用水網站遭駭 首頁變五星旗

A number of websites in Taiwan have come under attack from hackers since Aug. 3, with China's five-star flag appearing on the Kaohsiung City Environmental Protection Bureau's drinking water website on Aug. 4. The city government immediately shut down the site. The sites of central agencies went offline on Aug. 5 as well.

China's five-star flag is displayed prominently on the Kaohsiung City Environmental Protection Bureau's drinking water website. The site was hacked on the night of the 4th. The city government immediately reported the hack, shut down the site and began checking its other websites.

Kao Tsung-yung, Deputy Director, Environmental Protection Bureau, Kaohsiung City: “We will take the website down for now. We will also continue looking for answers and restoring (the website). We publish a great deal of environmental data every month for the public. This data transfer method often gets targeted by hackers.”

The site was not restored for over 12 hours. Police say the attack came from overseas.

Lin Chien-chun, Captain, Technology Crime Investigation, Kaohsiung City: “The hacker's IP address was overseas. That's all we know. We don't know which country.”

Police say if they can locate and arrest the hacker, the hacker may face 1.5 times the maximum penalty of five years behind bars and NT$600,000 in fines because the target was a government website. At this time, police do not know where the attack originated. The websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Defense experienced technical difficulties on the 5th as well. According to the government, DDoS attacks on the websites of Taiwan Power, Taiwan Railways, the Presidential Office, the two ministries, and convenience store chains began on the 3rd and are ongoing.