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All public institutions in Taiwan were hit by cyberattacks, digital minister Audrey Tang said on Wednesday (August 3), as tensions with China rise following the visit to the self-ruled island by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Tuesday’s (August 2) attacks on Taiwan government units surpassed 15,000 gigabits, 23 times higher than the previous daily record, Tang said.
Taiwan pledged on Wednesday to step up security against possible disruptions by “overseas forces” including cyberattacks.
China demonstrated its outrage over the highest-level U.S. visit in 25 years to the island Beijing claims as its own with a burst of military activity in surrounding waters, summoning the U.S. ambassador in 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.
Taiwan Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng told a media briefing authorities had stepped security at key infrastructure including power plants and airports and increased the cybersecurity alertness level across government offices.
Several government websites including the presidential office were subject to overseas cyberattacks, some of which authorities said were launched by China and Russia.
Officials said planned Chinese military drills, starting from Thursday noon to midday on Sunday, would affect all 18 international flight routes near the capital Taipei.
They said the impact, however, would be limited, with slight travel time increases as planes fly alternative routes.
Shortly after Pelosi’s arrival late on Tuesday, Chinese state media reported China’s Su-35 fighter jets were crossing the sensitive Taiwan Strait separating the island from China, before Taiwan’s military called the report false.