The amount of cyberattacks in Japan – both on businesses and government entities – is increasing at such a pace that the Japanese authorities are now reportedly seeking to “counter attack” the servers and IP addresses from which these malicious actions are traced. Japan is looking to cooperate with the United States in a bid to have the ability to counter the attacks by a foreign nation or organization, as the North American nation has the most sophisticated technology on that front.
Sources familiar to the issue say that this ability being sought by the Japanese government would include being able to attack a server – apparently in self-defense – if ever government computer systems were subjected to a malicious attack. These same sources say that Japanese authorities are looking to wage battle against these attackers by laying down denial-of-service attacks – mainly by bombarding these offending servers with so much incoming data that it is not able to function correctly, a standard attack in any hacker’s arsenal. According to the Japan Times, the Japanese government plans to set up a “cyberdefense task force” within the Self-Defense Forces coming into existence by March next year, and the defense ministry along with other government agencies have begun compiling concrete measures to wage a counterattack.
As with any internet-related defense issue, there are a number of obstacles to this plan, foremost of those being able to identify and be sure of the server from which the attack originated – cyberattackers, because of the nature of their malice, make it a point to hide their identities thoroughly. A senior Japanese official pointed out that on this issue, U.S. cooperation is indispensable because identifying the source of a cyberattack requires very sophisticated computer technology. There is also the matter of Japanese law, and counterattacks can also be seen as violations on the law banning unauthorized access to servers and computers. The Japanese government is scrutinizing these legal obstacles and working out these issues that might arise in obtaining counterattack capability.