Ukraine could have been the origin of a cyberattack on Wednesday on the Presidential Office in which lawmakers received spoofs of official e-mails, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said yesterday, while a legislative meeting about a suspected cyberattack last week was dismissed when several invited officials failed to attend.
Many lawmakers on Wednesday reported receiving an e-mail that allegedly came from the Presidential Office, with a link to a phishing Web site that contained a Trojan horse virus, the CIB said in a news release yesterday.
The e-mail used a forged sender address and came from a phishing Web site’s server possibly located at a Ukraine-based cloud service company, the CIB said.
Further investigation is needed to determine whether the phishing scam was related to suspected cyberattack on Friday last week, it said, adding that besides installing data protection software, people should not click links or download files from unknown sources.
Several key officials invited before a legislative meeting on Friday’s alleged cyberattack did not show up, leading the meeting to be dismissed 30 minutes after it began, said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Stacey Lee (李貴敏), convener of the Legislative Yuan’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.
The officials’ absence was a disregard for the nation’s highest authority that oversees administrative units as stated in the Constitution, she said.
Asked whether the suspected cyberattack was orchestrated by Chinese Communist Party hackers, Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) prior to the meeting said that the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau (MJIB) would investigate any and all leads.
In a report submitted for the meeting, the MJIB said that files sent to reporters in Friday’s suspected attack could have been leaked if officials used files outside of the office; if the office’s extranet has loopholes; if officials were deceived by social engineering attacks, which allowed hackers to install malware on office computers; or people could have stolen the files.
The National Security Bureau said that both the public and private sectors in Taiwan have seen a rising number of cyberattacks since the COVID-19 pandemic began late last year.
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