According to the National Police Agency, a total of 1,009 intentional email cyber-attacks hit Japanese companies and institutions last year. This figure comes from the analysis of information collected from 4,900 companies and organizations in the defense and advanced technologies industries.
Just as technology keeps advancing and evolving, so have cyber crimes and attacks become even more sophisticated. One such “modus operandi” that these cyber hackers do is exchange a few legitimate email messages with their targets before eventually sending a message with a virus that will hack into the target’s information. Usually, the hacker contacts a target organization, pretending to be a “whistle blower” or applicant and when the target replies, they will then send a virus file in the attachment named “Exposure Report” or “Resume.” These viruses aren’t detected by antivirus software because the data is compressed and password protected.
Some examples of other email virus attacks: an email sent out announcing the inaugural news conference of then-newly elected Prime Minsiter Shinzo Abe and emails sent out by hackers pretending to be government officials and taking advantage of the hot button issue of the territorial dispute over the Senkakus. Websites of government agencies and courts are some of the most common targets of hackers as well. Two attacks are believed to have been carried out by Anonymous, an international group of hackers while eight are suspected to be related to the tensions between Japan and China. Most of the attacks were carried out abroad, hence, the difficulty of the Japanese police to investigate these cybercrimes.
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