At a glance.
- Taiwan receives support from the West.
- DoD cyber leaders focus on tech modernization.
- Despite risks, Malaysia considers Huawei for 5G.
Taiwan receives support from the West.
Last month US lawmakers introduced the Taiwan Cybersecurity Resiliency Act, bipartisan legislation focused on bolstering Taiwan’s cyber defenses. The measure calls for the Department of Defense to support Taiwan in conducting cyber training exercises and defending the country’s military networks and infrastructure. The goal is to help Taiwan secure its systems against China, which allegedly pummels the nation with millions of attacks a month. As the Hill notes, the measure indicates a shift in the US’s focus from Russia’s war on Ukraine to the mounting tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, where the possibility of Chinese invasion of Taiwan has become imminent. Alexandra Seymour, an associate fellow for the technology and national security program at think tank Center for a New American Security, explains, “I think that this is one way to try to be proactive in terms of ensuring that if something were to happen — and knowing that cyberspace is going to be vulnerable — that we’re going to try to bolster up defenses as much as we can early on.” As we previously discussed, China conducted naval and air drills over Taiwan in response to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen’s trip to California to meet with US lawmakers despite China’s objections. Although Washington severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979 and the US does not officially recognize Taiwan as an independent state, the two nations have maintained unofficial ties. 1979’s Taiwan Relationship Act (TRA) states that the US would support Taiwan’s self-defense in the case of a Chinese invasion.
Meanwhile, Taiwan announced it has begun sharing intelligence with the US and its partners in the Five Eyes. Taiwan’s National Security Bureau (NSB) Director-General Tsai Ming-yen announced during a legislative session that Taipei maintains “real-time” intelligence sharing with the alliance, and NSB is working on updating its computer systems to be on par with those of the Five Eyes nations. Clearance Jobs explains that the announcement is particularly timely, as Taiwan is preparing for the possibility of Chinese interference in next year’s presidential and legislative elections. And just a week ago it was reported that China has allegedly created overseas “secret police stations” aimed at spying on critics of the Chinese Communist Party.
DoD cyber leaders focus on tech modernization.
The US Department of Defense reports that the inaugural J6 C4/Cyber Global Summit was hosted at the Pentagon last month. Combatant Command (CCMD) Directors for C4/Cyber (J6s), Chief Technology Officers, and Chief Data Officers from across the US Department of Defense (DoD) gathered to share their cybersecurity expertise and learn about key initiatives in the advancement of C4/cyber capabilities from subject matter experts. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Christopher Grady spoke in support of integration, modernization, and innovation of C4/cyber capabilities to improve the combined joint force’s warfighting capabilities. As CyberEdge by SIGNAL notes, US Cyber Commander General Paul Nakasone is also an advocate for technology modernization in the military, both at home and abroad. “We are the premier cyber force in the world,” Nakasone said. “We are ready to do whatever the president or the secretary of defense asks us to do. I think the question really speaks to how do we continue to maintain that quality of capability, and how do we continue to grow it. That is what we are looking at. ... This is a domain that’s important to our nation. It’s important to our department. So, we spend a tremendous amount of time looking at not only the capacity of what we’re doing but also the capability.” Nakasone meets weekly with DoD Chief Information Officer John Sherman and Air Force Lieutenant General Robert Skinner, who directs the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and commands the Joint Forces Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network to discuss the Defense Department’s cyber readiness. Topics include the DoD’s joint warfighting cloud capability, zero trust, and tech modernization in positioning, navigation and timing, and satellite communications. General Skinner told CyberEdge by SIGNAL, “We’re looking at how we make the force more effective in the future, which also makes them ready and makes the best posture against the peer adversaries.”
Despite risks, Malaysia considers Huawei for 5G.
US News reports that the EU and US are warning Malaysia about security risks of using Huawei in the building of the Southeast Asian country’s state-owned 5G network. Having previously disregarded the US’s security concerns, Malaysia is finalizing a review of its 5G rollout that could allow Huawei to bid for a role in its telecoms infrastructure. US ambassador to Malaysia Brian McFeeters wrote, "Senior officials in Washington agree with my view that upending the existing model would undermine the competitiveness of new industries, stall 5G growth in Malaysia, and harm Malaysia’s business-friendly image internationally. Allowing untrusted suppliers in any part of the network also subjects Malaysia’s infrastructure to national security risks."