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Taiwan bids to bolster security with free malware database

Resource is open to all in malware-addled Asian nation

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Taiwan’s National Centre for High-Performance Computing (NCHC) has launched what it claims to be the world’s first free malware database designed to help businesses, academics and researchers better identify and defend against criminally-coded attacks.

The centre, one of the 11 which comprise Taiwan’s National Applied Research Laboratories, teamed up with the Ministry of Education and 20 universities back in 2010 to kick off the ambitious project, according to the country’s Central News Agency (CNA).

Some 200,000 malware samples have apparently been added to the database so far, with over 1,000 added every month. The Malware Knowledge Base, features 6,000 IP addresses to monitor and identify new malware strains, the agency said.

Malware sources and global attack patterns can also be traced and predicted with a handy Google Earth-based UI, an NCHC official told Taiwan Today.

Considering its relatively diminutive size, Taiwan remains one of the top sources of attack traffic in the world, so the database project should be welcomed within the republic as an attempt to shore up its IP address space.

Akamai’s State of the Internet report for Q1 2013 placed Taiwan seventh in terms of sources of global attack traffic, with a 2.5 per cent share, immediately beneath India but above Brazil.

NCHC research associated Tsai Yi-lang told the Central News Agency that the country is hit by 3.4 million attacks daily.

Many of these attacks are likely to come from near neighbour China.

Despite a recent calming of hostilities, the Communist Party still regards Taiwan as a part of Greater China and territory that one day should be subsumed back into the fold.

As a result, reports of state-sponsored online espionage attacks launched from across the Straits are fairly common in local Taiwanese media.

A year ago, Taiwan Times said that the country’s defence ministry was creating a new “electronic and internet warfare” group to cope with the rising number of attacks, after a government report accused China of “using internet viruses to attack Taiwan’s government, economic and military websites”.

Those interested in using the Malware Knowledge Base need to apply online through the site. ®

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