Taiwan presidential website hit by DDoS attack ahead of Pelosi visit
Taiwan’s presidential website suffered a DDoS attack on Tuesday, hours before US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed on the island during a visit opposed by mainland China categorically.
The DDoS attack – which involves bombarding a site with a flood of internet traffic – occurred at 5:15 p.m. local time and briefly caused President Tsai Ing-wen’s website to go down for about 20 minutes.
In a Facebook post, presidential spokesman Chang Tun-Han said(Opens in a new window) the attack generated “200 times” the usual traffic to the website. Additionally, the attack originated from Internet traffic originating outside the island’s networks.
Although it remains unclear who launched the attack, suspicion is already hanging over the Chinese government, which has warned that Taiwan will face “serious consequences” for allowing Pelosi to visit the island. The Chinese government has long sought to reclaim Taiwan as part of mainland China. However, Pelosi’s visit raises concerns in Beijing that the United States is subtly maneuvering to support Taiwan’s independence as a nation in its own right, separate from China.
“A visit by him to Taiwan would constitute gross interference in China’s internal affairs, seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Chinese foreign minister said.(Opens in a new window) Monday, later adding, “We will resolutely respond and take strong countermeasures to uphold China’s sovereignty.”
The DDoS attack may signal that China has more in store to harass Taiwan. As Pelosi landed on the island, Chinese state media reported(Opens in a new window) that the country’s Su-35 fighter jets were entering the Taiwan Strait. On Monday, the Chinese company Sina also mysteriously closed(Opens in a new window) its news website and social media service Sina Weibo for Taiwan.
In response to the DDoS attack, Taiwan’s presidential spokesman Chang said Taiwan would continue to strengthen the island’s IT defenses and critical infrastructure to deal with external information warfare. Meanwhile, the White House officially declared(Opens in a new window) he does not support Taiwan independence, but that President Pelosi has the right to visit the island.
In a report(Opens in a new window)Pelosi defended the visit as honoring “America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.
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“Our visit is part of our broader Indo-Pacific journey – including Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan – focused on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance,” he said. -she adds. “Our discussions with Taiwanese leaders will focus on reaffirming our support for our partner and advancing our common interests, including promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region. America’s solidarity with the 23 million people in Taiwan is more important than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”
Pelosi also noted that she was not the only American politician to visit Taiwan. “Our visit is one of many congressional delegations to Taiwan – and it in no way contradicts long-standing U.S. policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, joint U.S.-China communiqués and The Six Assurances The United States continues to oppose unilateral efforts to change the status quo.
The visit today received support from 26 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said it was in line with the US one-China policy.(Opens in a new window).
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