Counterterrorism efforts are on the rise after the Boston Marathon bombings in April this year, and it reflects on the new proposals that are coming through official channels to the Japanese central government concerning public safety policy. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party – which is led by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – for example had its investigative committee draft a proposal for this purpose. The resulting draft includes, among others, a proposal to monitor internet browsing history for counterterrorism purposes.
Yahoo Japan Corp. revealed on Friday of last week that it suspected as many as 22 million user IDs had been stolen as part of a malicious attempt to access the web portal's administrative system. The company stated that the information that was taken did not include users' passwords or the verification information needed to reset passwords, however they are urging their roughly 200 million customers to change their passwords right away.
Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) – the national umbrella organization of Japan’s prefectural and local police forces – announced on Thursday that they have started a new cyber-defense center. This new unit is composed of 20 officers solely concentrated on efforts to fight internet-related attacks. The center’s prime responsibilities will be to gather information and analyze data as needed to help in official investigations by the police related to cyber-attacks. A cybersecurity officer, the new post created with the center, will head the unit.
In the wake of recent statements made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and United States Secretary of State John Kerry about the importance of cybersecurity – the protection of secure computer systems and networks from malicious and intentional attacks – Japan and the United States started the first bilateral talks on issues relating to cyberspace on Thursday. Both countries have agreed on the notion that cyberattacks pose a real threat to national security, and look to discuss countermeasures and international rule-making regarding the realm of the Internet.
A report from the Pentagon says that China has been engaged in cyber espionage, mostly targeting the United States government to gain more information about its foreign policy and military plan. The report is part of an annual assessment of China's military capabilities and is the most explicit statement so far regarding cyber spying activities.
United States Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey has asked China to be more transparent and collaborative in dealing with cyberattacks and cyber security issues, as Washington is becoming concerned with a series of hacking attacks that seems to be originating from China. General Dempsey is on a three-day visit to China to meet with several Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping to build on "mutual trust" between the two countries.
Japan’s police – not unlike every other nation who has an Internet savvy population – is up to its waist in dealing with web-based crimes. To help ease the burden on a digitally backward police force, Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) is urging the nation’s ISPs to help in the fight with cybercrime by blocking users of the IP-anonymizing software Tor.
Cody Kretsinger – a hacker known by his nom de guerre “Recursion” – pleaded guilty to an extensive computer network security hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and was sentenced on Thursday to one year and one day in prison, to be immediately followed by a one year of home detention, plus 1,000 hours of community service.
As part of his multi-destination Asian trip, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke from Beijing on Saturday and then from Tokyo on Monday saying that defense against Internet-based attacks should be a major priority for maintaining global security, especially as a majority of the threats have come from the region. Kerry revealed that Washington is as of the moment creating working groups with China and Japan to address online security in the region.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) revealed on Thursday that several fraudulent websites mimicking the original online portals of various banks, companies, and even government agencies have been found. The bogus websites copy exact details from the original websites but some Chinese words were found in the text.