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Taiwanese military reports DDoS in wake of Pelosi visit

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense confirmed it was hit by a DDoS attack on Wednesday in what has been an eventful week for the island nation, US-Sino relations, and semiconductors.

The ministry said the network was attacked around 23:40 with connection restored by 00:30 local time on Thursday. Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng said work on heightening cyber defenses was underway.

The DDoS attack on the Ministry of Defense followed a separate one on Taiwan’s presidential website on Tuesday.

The cyber incidents come after China sent 27 aircraft into the Taiwan air defence identification zone (ADZ), and conducted live fire exercises by sea in six zones around the island as a show of force designed to reinforce its assertion that US speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit was a provocative act designed to encourage Taiwanese independence.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council has called the behavior “bellicose and provocative.”

International norms allow relations with Taiwan that stop just short of formally recognising it as a sovereign nation, a nod to China’s insistence the island territory is a rogue province that illegitimately defies Beijing by practicing democratic self-governance.

During the long stalemate over that matter, Taiwan developed a thriving chip industry on which the world is so reliant that US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo recently warned losing access to it would cause a deep recession in the United States. Raimondo has publicly stated that 70 percent of America’s chips come from Taiwan.

China also relies on foreign chips. It is predicted to produce only about 20 percent of the chips it uses by 2026.

TSMC chairman Mark Liu told CNN last weekend that China composes about 10 percent of the company’s business. He also detailed that the chipmaker only provides chips to China’s consumer market, not the military market.

The boss noted that if China were to act against Taiwan and damage the company’s output, China would hurt itself as much as anyone else.

“Nobody can control TSMC by force. If you take a military force of invasion, you will render TSMC factory not operable, because this is such a sophisticated manufacturing facility,” said Liu, who then emphasized that the factory depended on real-time connections with Europe, Japan, US and the world at large to provide materials, chemicals, spare parts, engineering software diagnosis and more.

Liu and Pelosi met on Wednesday to discuss the United States’ $2 trillion CHIPS ACT, an event Chinese state-sponsored media dismissed as a “photo-op.”

And as if all of this was not enough, hacktivist collective Anonymous reportedly chimed in with its protest by hacking into the government website of China’s Heilongjiang Society Scientific Community Federation. People claiming to be members of the group allegedly changed the website to include messaging welcoming Pelosi to Taiwan in retaliation for DDoS attacks on the Taiwanese Office of the President website.

The defacement was taken down, however the Wayback Machine lives on. ®