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Kick us as hard as you like, RIGHT IN THE CYBERS, says Japan

Government unleashes ethical hackers to prep for Tokyo Olympics

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Japan will today follow the UK’s lead by carrying out a major cyber security drill which will see ethical hackers attempt to infiltrate and disrupt 21 government departments.

The drill is designed to test the country’s emergency response capabilities to the full as Tokyo prepares to host the games in 2020. London carried out a similar operation ahead of the 2012 games.

"It's not that we haven't put effort into cyber security, but we are certainly behind the US,” IT minister Ichita Yamamoto told Reuters.

The exercise will apparently see 50 online defence experts stationed at a special emergency response centre in the capital and 150+ elsewhere to guard against the simulated attack.

Some 21 government departments and agencies and 10 industry associations will apparently be under fire.

Tokyo has much to fret about in the run up to the games, not least the possibility of widespread attempts at online disruption from China’s army of “hacktivists”.

According to data from Japan’s Government Security Operation Coordination team, there were 1.08 million attempts to gain access to government networks in 2012 – an average of one every 30 seconds, up 64 per cent from 2010.

Just a few days ago it emerged that Toshiba suffered an insider data breach after a former engineer with the firm was arrested for copying large amounts of research data before jumping ship to Korean chip firm SK Hynix.

Today’s drill will apparently be the first time government departments and businesses have been asked to work together to deflect online attacks.

He practice is sorely needed, especially inside government. Last week it emerged that Japanese lawmakers are planning new legislation designed to cut through government silos and give more power to the National Information Security Centre (NISC) to respond more quickly to threats.

It will also aim to boost co-operation between the country’s 13 critical infrastructure operators. ®

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