Hacktivist group Anonymous is not sitting idly by when Taiwan sundergoes a spate of targeted cyberattacks ahead of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
The official website of Taiwan’s president was knocked offline just hours before Pelosi’s arrival on August 2. The site was revived 20 minutes later.
Public billboards in multiple convenience stores and a train station on the island were also hijacked into displaying offensive messages regarding Pelosi’s presence in Taiwan.
According to images shared by France media AFP, one message goes as far as calling Pelosi an old witch. It also echoes the rhetoric chorused by Chinese officials about her visit, accusing it of “a serious provocation to the sovereignty of the Motherland.” Motherland is none other than a reference to China in narratives that promote Taiwan reunification.
Statements from relevant Taiwannese departments attributed the cyber aggression to overseas actors. China was not indicated, but all speculations are on the country, which has been particularly agitated since rumors about the visit came out.
On the following day, the notorious Anonymous hacker group took action.
As Taiwan News reported, the decentralized international hacktivist group took over China’s Heilongjiang Society Scientific Community Federation website.
Anonymous posted an html page with the phrase “Taiwan Numbah Wan” written on it. The page also included images of the U.S. House Speaker and Taiwanese President Tsao Ing-wen, Taiwan’s national flag, and emblem.
Among them, reads a message, “Taiwan welcomes US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi!”
The hacking organization also stated, “This hack is a retaliation of the DDoS [denial of service] attacks on the presidential website.”
The Chinese government website was later restored, but the content can still be viewed on Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.