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Chinese hackers have recently launched a network attack for targeting people attending a US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference. The conference was attended by defense officials, defense industry representatives and security experts.

The attack was attempted through a Chinese email, asking recipients to open a message. The email contained malicious software that would have allowed the hackers to enter all systems connected to that computer network. When Lotta Danielson, vice president of the US-Taiwan Business Association, which sponsored the conference, saw the suspicious email, she immediately notified all participants of the conference and forwarded the email to a security expert.

“While it is not possible to prove that China was behind the hacking attempt, there are ways to infer the identity of the hackers,” Steven Adair, founder of Washington-area network security company Volexity, said.

CNN.com reported in July that the website of a major political party in Taiwan, the Democratic Progressive Party, was targeted by Chinese hackers looking to spy on its visitors. The website was compromised and replaced with a spoofed site that collected data on users for several days.

Taiwan’s democratic government is a real threat to the legitimacy of Chinese’s communist government and thus is a cyberattack target, said Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute, which focuses on security issues in Asia.

According to defenseworld.net, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense plans to set up a special cybersecurity unit within the army, because of the increasing cyberattacks against Taiwan in recent years. The new plan is highly necessary because Chinese hackers have attacked Taiwan more often than they have attacked the US, Hong Kong and mainland China itself. Taiwan believes Chinese hackers have infiltrated Taiwan’s defense, foreign affairs, air traffic control and communication systems.