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All public institutions in Taiwan have been hit by cyberattacks, Digital Minister Audrey Tang said Wednesday, August 3, as tensions with China rise after self-guided island tour by Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
Tuesday’s (Aug. 2) attacks on Taiwanese government units topped 15,000 gigabits, 23 times the previous daily high, Tang said.
Taiwan pledged on Wednesday to strengthen security against possible disruption by “foreign forces”, including cyberattacks.
China expressed outrage during the highest level US visit in 25 years to the island that Beijing claims as its own with an explosion of military activity in the surrounding waters, summoning the US ambassador to Beijing and halting several agricultural imports from Taiwan.
Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday and left on Wednesday after pledging solidarity with the island and hailing its democracy.
Taiwanese Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping-cheng told a press conference that authorities had tightened security at key infrastructure, including power plants and airports, and increased the level of vigilance over cybersecurity in government offices.
Several government websites, including the presidential office, have come under cyberattacks abroad, some of which authorities say were launched by China and Russia.
Officials said planned Chinese military exercisesfrom Thursday noon to Sunday noon, would affect the 18 international flight routes near the capital Taipei.
They said the impact would be limited, however, with slight increases in travel time as planes take alternative routes.
Shortly after Pelosi’s arrival on Tuesday evening, Chinese state media reported that Chinese Su-35 fighter jets were crossing the sensitive Taiwan Strait separating the island from China, before the Taiwanese military calls the report false.