Taiwan bolsters cyber warfare defense

Taiwan's defense ministry said Monday it has bolstered the island's cyber warfare capabilities amid growing cyber attacks in the world, particularly those originating in China.

Ministry of Defense spokesman Col. David Lo said the ministry commissioned a fourth cyber warfare squadron on Monday, adding about 200 personnel to the 3,000-strong military force involved in cyber security.

The ministry's Communications, Electronics and Information Division currently already has two battalions and three squadrons.

National Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu told a legislative commission in April that the fourth squadron would be added to counter Chinese cyber attacks.

Kao also promised to earmark more funding for cyber warfare capabilities. The division's budget approved by the legislature this year is NT$900 million (US$29.8 million), excluding secret funds.

Developing the military potential of cyberspace has been a priority of China's People's Liberation Army.

The Chinese military has significantly improved its cyber warfare capacity since 2002 and about 100,000 hackers are from the Chinese military, National Security Bureau Vice Director Chang Kuang-yuan told parliament in April.

To counter attacks originating in China, Taiwan's defense ministry formed a communications command in the late 1990s and set up the Communications, Electronics and Information Division in 2004.