U.S.-Taiwan cooperation crucial for global cyber security: AIT head

Taipei Cooperation between the United States and Taiwan on cyber security is important, as there are malignant parties using the Internet to disrupt the economy, hurt democratic values and the integrity of crucial infrastructure, the director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said Tuesday.

"As we speak, pernicious actors, including China, are engaged in relentless attempts to steal Taiwan's and the United States' trade secrets, intellectual property, and most valuable data," said Brent Christensen during a forum on cyber security.

Evidence indicates that Chinese-backed cyber attacks on Taiwan's technology industry were seven times greater in 2018 than in 2017, and are on track to be 20 times greater in 2019, according to Christensen.

While historically, China has focused its attacks on Taiwan's semiconductor industry, it has now expanded its scope to include attacks on the smart machinery and electronic component industries, which is a threat to Taiwan's industry and even its future, he said.

It is therefore important for Taiwan and the U.S. to work together to curb such attempts, because they could also hurt democracy, Christensen said.

There are people who seek to use the openness of the Internet to sow division, create polarization and spread outright falsehoods to make people begin to lose faith in democratic institutions, he said.

A good example would be foreign interference in Taiwan's recent elections, Christensen said.

Finally, there is concern about the integrity of critical infrastructure, especially information and telecommunications networks, he said, adding that the U.S. and other like-minded partners have grave concerns about the use of Chinese-made equipment, software, and services in telecommunication networks.

Christensen said the U.S. is doing what it can to help deepen cyber cooperation with Taiwan, including joint cyber offensive and defensive exercises that took place in November for the first time, bringing together approximately 15 countries to address cyber threats from North Korea, along with other issues.

In the future, he added, the U.S. and Taiwan will work closely on developing Taiwan's International Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, which focuses on issues such as establishing democratically inspired global cyber standards for 5G technology.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel