Tokyo, Dec. 11 (Jiji Press)–Many cyberattacks hit the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee but caused no problem with the Games, a committee official in charge of cybersecurity has said.
The Tokyo Games were held successfully this summer without disruptions despite the attacks, such as illegal access and fake emails, according to Katsuhiko Nakanishi, 45, from NEC Nexsolutions Ltd., a unit of NEC Corp. <6701>.
Especially, the official website of the Tokyo Games and the organizing committee’s network system were hit by suspicious access 450 million times during the Games period.
But the attacks were “within our expectations,” Nakanishi said. “Behind the success was time-consuming work to make thorough preparations.”
Nakanishi was sent on loan to the organizing committee in 2015 and took charge of the defense from possible cyberattacks during the Tokyo Games.
According to Nakanishi, at least 6,000 spoofed English emails pretending to be from committee Director-General Toshiro Muto or International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach were sent to addresses related to the Tokyo committee, sports organizations across the world and others between 2019 and 2020.
These e-mails were apparently aimed at making recipients visit phishing sites to steal their identification and passwords. But no one related to the organizing committee was fooled by the fake emails.
“The good results came as we conducted exercises against email attacks over 10 times, covering a total of over 10,000 people including workers at partner companies, and repeatedly called for vigilance against suspicious emails,” Nakanishi said.
All of the suspicious access to the Tokyo Games official website and the organizing committee’ network system during the Games period was blocked.
“From the stage of creating the system, we checked the safety, together with experts,” Nakanishi said.
The organizing committee also improved its cybersecurity measures by asking a so-called red team playing the role of an enemy to mount cyberattacks.
The Games “involved multiple organizations including the central government, related institutions and companies,” Nakanishi said.
“The fact that they worked together, sharing the same goal of holding safe Games and fully aware of the importance of cybersecurity, has become a legacy of the Tokyo Games, which can be used for large-scale events in the future,” Nakanishi added.