Taiwan presidential office hit by cyber attack ahead of Pelosi’s visit

Taiwan’s presidential office was hit with a cyber attack on Tuesday, the same day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visited the island amid warnings and opposition from China.

A spokesperson for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said in a Facebook post that the attack happened around 5:15 p.m. local time, causing 200 times more than normal weekday website traffic. 

NBC reported that attacks affected at least four websites, those of Ing-wen, the National Defense Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Taiwan Taoyuan International, the island’s largest airport. 

Ing-wen’s office did not immediately return a request from The Hill for comment. 

The spokesperson said on Facebook that the attacks were “outside-border” distributed denials of service, in which a service or network is overwhelmed with more internet traffic than it can handle. 

Cyber-security experts consider these types of attacks to be relatively minor compared to other types, and they do not do lasting damage, but identifying those responsible can be difficult, according to NBC. 

The news comes after Pelosi landed in Taiwan, becoming the highest-ranking U.S. official in a quarter of a century to visit the country.

China had warned Pelosi against visiting Taiwan ahead of her trip, promising to take measures to “safeguard its sovereign and territorial integrity.”

It is not yet clear who is responsible for the cyber attack.