Taiwan’s Biggest Telco Hacked, Data Sold on Dark Web 

Taiwan’s military disclosed that hackers have illicitly obtained and subsequently sold data from Chunghwa Telecom Co.

Taiwan’s military disclosed that hackers have illicitly obtained and subsequently sold data from Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan’s largest telecommunications provider. 

According to the Defense Ministry in Taipei, the compromised documents, which were associated with the military, did not include any classified information. This statement was made in response to inquiries from Bloomberg News following initial reports by TVBS, which suggested that sensitive data from Chunghwa Telecom Co. and Taiwanese national security agencies had been accessed by unauthorized parties. 

The specifics regarding the hackers’ origins or identities remain undisclosed. However, the Defense Ministry elaborated on the breach, stating, “The preliminary investigation indicates that the hackers were able to extract sensitive data from Chunghwa Telecom and commercialize it on the dark web. This data encompasses documents from various governmental bodies, including the army, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Coast Guard Administration, among others.”  

The leaked information also encompassed a contract between the Navy and Chunghwa Telecom. 

Taiwan has long been vocal about the cyber threats it faces, with officials cautioning that government entities and corporate institutions are bombarded with millions of cyberattack attempts monthly. These attacks are predominantly attributed to China, which considers Taiwan a part of its territory and has not shied away from expressing intentions to assert control over the island. 

The threat landscape was further emphasized last year by cybersecurity specialists from Google reported a significant surge in cyberattacks originating from China targeting Taiwan.  

President Tsai Ing-wen has also highlighted the multifaceted nature of these threats, including military coercion, cyberattacks, and misinformation campaigns, as challenges the island must contend with. 

The breach came to light following a TVBS report, which showcased a screenshot of the hackers’ advertisement for the stolen data. The leaked cache purportedly includes 1.7 terabytes of internal documents from Chunghwa Telecom, detailing contracts with various government agencies.  

The demanded price for this sold data has not been disclosed. 

In response to the breach, Chunghwa Telecom has initiated an investigation into the suspected data leak and has reported the incident to the appropriate governmental authorities. The company reassured stakeholders that the breach has not significantly impacted its operations and pledged to enhance its cybersecurity measures to prevent future incidents. 

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