China Taiwan Cyberwar
By Alan Nipp
BBC World Service, © 1999
Transcription of an Interview with D K Matai, Managing Director, mi2g
have been effectively used as weapon of war. How serious is the situation
A: During the Kosovan conflict we have seen the rise of internet attacks,
and even after the Kosovo conflict came to an end in June we have seen that
attacks have taken place between China and Taiwan on both sides. These attacks
are excalating around the world and a variety of organisations are being affected.
there cases where the hackers have achieved their goal?
A: Yes, there are plenty of websites that have been defaced, plenty
of databases that have been damaged or copied, so there are many cases of
businesses in the US, the UK, Japan, Germany and the Netherlands that have
terms of economic losses, how serious is the problem?
A: So far mi2g has chronicled that from hacking losses as well
as from viruses developed by hackers - for example the CIH virus was developed
by a Taiwanese virus writer - the ExploreZip virus as well as the Melissa
virus together costed about $US 7 billion to service worldwide.
individuals or businesses have protection against these hackers?
A: So far protection has been mainly to rely on branded firewall products,
and what mi2g software is advocating at present is the development
of bespoke security architecture whereby the security architecture for each
business or large organisation is different from any other. As we are coming
back to a medieval-times period where everybody will have to have castle-like
bespoke security in cyberspace.
cyberworld seems very chaotic, no boundaries, no borders. Do you think there
should be international law to govern it?
A: Yes, mi2g advocates the development of international laws
which can help arbitration between different jurisdictions. Today cyberspace
has no boundaries and this is causing a lot of problems especially as there
is a lot of trade taking place through electronic commerce.
serious is the cyberwar going on between China and Taiwan?
A: mi2g software has a very good knowledge of Taiwan's
computing abilities, Taiwan has one of the world's largest computer software
and hardware manufacturing bases. The computer software programers in Taiwan
are world class. Our view is that getting involved in any kind of conflict
with the kind of intellectual capacity in Taiwan may prove detrimental.
A: We would ask both sides to recognise that any escalation in this
conflict may have consequences and fall-out which may be out of control.