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Editorial: Take all possible measures against cyber-attacks aimed at Tokyo Games

  • November 15, 2019
  • , The Japan News , 7:35 p.m.
  • English Press

If important infrastructure deeply related to the people’s livelihood is damaged, it will cause immeasurable turmoil. Preparations must be expedited to deal with cyber-attacks.

 

The government has conducted an exercise based on the assumption that cyber-attacks will occur during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next year. A record 5,000 officials, including those from municipalities and government ministries and agencies in addition to business operators in 14 fields, such as power generation, and information and communications, took part in the exercise.

 

Procedures were confirmed for sharing information and restoring damaged systems during the scenario, which involved a cyber-attack causing power outages and communication trouble just before an opening ceremony next summer.

 

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, saw 600 million cyber-attacks occur during the preparation period and 5.5 million while events were being held. During the opening ceremony, various systems such as the Wi-Fi networking service experienced trouble.

 

In the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, too, there is concern that disruptions will occur such as attacks aimed at tarnishing Japan’s image and harassment by deviants for pleasure. Crimes such as ticket scams utilizing fake websites and illegal obtainment of information concerning the Tokyo Games and officials involved in the Games are also possible.

 

It is indispensable to establish preventive measures on the assumption that various attacks will occur. It is also imperative to bolster safety measures for relevant systems and terminals together with dispatching experts.

 

A society in which all things are connected to the internet is dawning. While convenience has increased, so has the risk of being exposed to an attack.

 

Cyber-attacks across national borders vary widely, from interference in elections and assaults on defense systems that threaten national security to crimes aimed at stealing money.

Coping with these new threats is one of the tasks that national governments must tackle.

 

The government set up this spring a cybersecurity consultation council together with municipalities and business operators of crucial infrastructure.

 

Using the National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity as a command center, it is necessary to widely share information on methods of attack and countermeasures as well as to strategically take steps to prevent damage from expanding.

 

The Cyber Defense Group of the Self-Defense Forces is tasked with defending the information networks of all defense units. The group should also cooperate actively in the defense of private information and communication systems.

 

It is also urgent for businesses to map out measures. A memorandum on cyber-attack countermeasures has been signed by 140 telecommunications companies and information technology-related firms in Japan and the United States. They plan to formulate a mechanism that enables them to automatically share information in times of cyber-attacks.

 

Corporate credibility will be undermined if cyber-attacks cause information to leak. It is essential to deal with cyber-attacks with a sense of urgency.

 

The government and private institutions should pool their wisdom to work toward ensuring security in cyberspace.

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