US, Taiwan Host International Cybersecurity Exercise

Cybersecurity experts from 10 countries, including Australia, the Czech Republic, Japan, and Malaysia are taking part in the 2019 Cyber Offensive and Defensive Exercise (CODE), co-hosted for the first time by the Taiwanese government and the American Institute in Taiwan

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The United States and Taiwan are co-hosting a multinational cybersecurity exercise in Taipei this week. The drills, set to run through Friday, focuses on defending against cyberattacks especially from North Korea and China.

The biennial Cyber Offensive and Defensive Exercises (CODE) were launched in 2013, and this is the first time the US is co-hosting the event. It is also the first time it includes the participation of personnel from several other countries.

The drills includes training provided by the US government on North Korea’s cyber threats, live-action cyber exercises between Taiwan and regional partners, and a discussion on lessons learned, according to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which represents US interests on the island.

During the exercise, “red” teams from Japan, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, and the US will play alongside Taiwanese government and military officials to simulate attacks on Taiwan’s financial sector, while a “blue” team only from Taiwan will play the role of the defenders. Cybersecurity officials from six other countries are observing the drill, according to the Financial Times.

Speaking at Monday’s opening ceremony, AIT Acting Director Raymond Greene said the exercise is aimed at strengthening domestic cyber defenses and promoting closer international cooperation on cybersecurity, according to a report by the Focus Taiwan News Channel.

Greene said the exercise “marks a new frontier in the ever-deepening cyber cooperation between the United States and Taiwan,” noting that “as we speak, pernicious actors are engaged in relentless attempts to steal trade secrets, intellectual property and our most valuable data.”

Howard Jyan, Director General of the central government’s Cyber Security Department, was cited as saying that in 2018 alone, Taiwan’s public sector had faced an average of 30 million cross-border cyberattacks per month. When asked by reporters where the attacks where coming from, he estimated that about half of all the attacks came from China, mainly carried out by the Chinese military.


[Additional sources: Defense News, Asia Times, Silicon UK]

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