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Taiwan aims 1000 viruses at China

Ready to repel an IT attack from the mainland

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The Taiwanese authorities are ready to wage an all-out cyber war with mainland China and have developed 1,000 computer viruses to deploy in the event of an IT attack. The Taiwanese military fears that its old foe may try and disable the island's computer network after Chinese hackers targeted a number of Taiwanese government Web sites last year. Lieutenant Lin Chin-ching, head of the defence ministry's information and communications bureau, told the BBC his officers had categorised around 1,000 different computer viruses. He said these would be released in retaliation to any Chinese electronic onslaught. China has not yet managed to penetrate the Taiwan military's PC network, but General Lin said the country, which hosts billions of pounds of foreign business investment on its soil, was taking no chances. The military is earmarking a special budget next year to work on information and electronic warfare. It is also stepping up precautions on its hardware, such as fitting warning devices that sound an alert if PC junction boxes are meddled with. Last month's hand over of Macau to China after more than 400 years of Portuguese rule has turned the heat up on Taiwan - pushing its future further up Beijing's agenda. The island, often referred to as "the renegade province" by Chinese leaders, is the final piece of Greater China still outside the communist power's control. ® Related stories: More Big Q money goes to Taiwan China on Taiwan's mind Taiwan beefs up TFT facilities

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