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Tuesday, 10 October, 2000, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Taiwan on guard for cyberwar
Hacked site
Chinese and Taiwanese hackers have already crossed cyber-swords
As Taiwan celebrates its National Day on Tuesday, website operators on the island have been warned to prepare for a resumption of a cross-Straits cyberwar with China.

The warning follows speculation that hackers in mainland China may be preparing to bombard Taiwanese sites with anti-independence messages.

Taiwan site
Taiwan says government sites are on constant guard for attack
Major government websites and those belonging to associates of President Chen Shui-bien - who Beijing sees as a supporter of Taiwanese independence - are thought to be among the principal targets.

China views Taiwan as a renegade province and has repeatedly said it will use force to prevent the island declaring itself independent from the mainland.

Tuesday's national day, known as the 'double tenth', is the first to be celebrated since this year's landmark general elections which saw an end to five decades of rule by the Kuomintang nationalist party.

Earlier this year, several government sites were vandalised by mainland hackers following President Chen's inauguration on 20 May.

Flag waving

In retaliation, Taiwanese hackers returned fire at the mainland, plastering the homepage of China's railway ministry with pictures of the Taiwanese flag and the Taiwanese national anthem.

National Day
Officials say China may want to embarass Taiwan's leaders on National Day
However, this time Taiwanese authorities say they have learnt the lessons of previous attacks and are now on a constant state of alert for signs of interference.

"We have done everything necessary to be prepared," said Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the island's Mainland Affairs Council.

"The factors have been taken into consideration when we implemented national security measures,'' she said.

In August last year, hackers on both sides of the Taiwanese Straits engaged each other in a fierce cyberwar after the then Taiwan President, Lee Teng-hui, suggested Taiwan's relationship with Beijing be conducted on "state-to-state" lines.

The statement incensed China, which saw it as a claim for independent status.

One message posted by irate Chinese hackers on Taiwanese government sites read: "Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory and will always be. The Taiwan Government headed by President Lee cannot deny it. Only one China exists and only one China is needed.''

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See also:

16 Feb 00 | Sci/Tech
When states go to cyber-war
10 Jan 00 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan's computer virus arsenal
16 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan courts China
02 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan urges China talks
20 May 00 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan leader rules out independence
19 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan voters defy China
03 Oct 00 | Taiwan Election
Taiwan's man of the people
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