Cyberspies have targeted the website of Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in efforts to obtain intelligence on DPP and its members. The cyberspying campaign is believed to have been launched following the party's victory in January and is aimed at gaining more information about the party's policies, according to a US-based cybersecurity firm.
Fire Eye security researchers say the DPP website has been compromised at least twice in April, which involved the website redirecting visitors to a spoof site that contained malicious script, which likely profiled the visitors and collected data in efforts to target them further for future cyberattacks.
Although Fire Eye has not attributed the attacks to a specific APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) group, it stated that it had detected Chinese cyberespionage groups using the spoofed site in the past. "FireEye believes this operation likely reflects continued efforts by China-based cyber espionage operators to collect intelligence related to the DPP as it moves Taiwan away from pro-mainland China policies," it said.
The security firm reported that the DPP website was first breached on 7 April but it later came under attack again on 13 April, despite having been fixed after the previous breach. The subsequent attacks within weeks indicated that "a threat group may be continually monitoring the site due to its importance as a strategic espionage target", FireEye said, Bloomberg reported.
DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng told AFP: "The DPP has always put great importance on cyber safety," adding that the party's website has not experienced any "major systematic attacks" in the recent past. He said the DPP is currently not a client of Fire Eye.
Fire Eye also confirmed that it has not been hired by DPP to investigate the attacks, rather, its researchers noted the website having been compromised and analysed the matter independently.
International relations between China and Taiwan have been fraught with tension after the recent landslide victory, which made DPP's Tsai Ing-wen the first female president of the country. The Chinese government recently issued statements asking Taiwan to abandon its efforts towards gaining independence.