US-Taiwan Defense Conference Targeted by Chinese Hackers

US-Taiwan Defense Conference Targeted by Chinese Hackers
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像
What you need to know

High ranking members of the defense industry from both the U.S. and Taiwan were among the people targeted by the attack.

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A U.S.-based security firm has revealed that Chinese hackers targeted participants at the 2016 United States - Taiwan Defense Industry Conference organized by the U.S-Taiwan Business Council in Virginia Oct. 2-4, the Chinese-language Liberty Times reports.

Steven Adair, the founder of security company Volexity, said participants at the conference who were targeted received an e-mail that contained information about the first event at the conference and an attached document, all written in Chinese, the United Daily News reported.

The e-mails containing malware appeared to have been sent from a Taiwanese “" domain that actually originated from Chinese servers.

Adair was speaking at a panel in the “Cyber Frontier In U.S. Taiwan Relations” forum organized by the Washington, D.C.-based Global Taiwan Institute (GTI) on Oct. 26.

According to Adair, the attached document contained malware that used loopholes in the Microsoft Word software to access the computer’s systems, giving the hackers access to other documents and e-mails on the victim’s computer.

Adair also said that the participants who were targeted included high ranking members of the defense industry from both the U.S. and Taiwan.

Lotta Danielsson, Vice President of the U.S-Taiwan Business Council, who attended both the defense industry conference and the GTI forum, told reporters that she and other participants at the conference had received the phishing emails, but that none of them opened them as they already knew how to identify these emails.

Danielsson said that the U.S-Taiwan Business Council had been receiving similar e-mails since 2003, but none of the attacks have been successful.

First Editor: J. MIchael Cole
Second Editor: Edward White