US Vows to Protect Japan from Cyber Attacks but Can It Protect Itself?

US Vows to Protect Japan from Cyber Attacks – ( TeK-THink)

Cyber attacks from North Korea and China are a real threat for Japan now and the authorities from the United States have promised to provide protection to its Asian ally against the threat. Japan will be helped to prevent any digital attack that could address its infrastructure and military facilities. This information was made available by the US-Japan Cyber Defense Policy Working Groups, in a joint statement.
According to this statement, there has been a growth in complexity among malicious cyber actors that are sponsored by the state, but also among the ones that are not. The military partnership between the United States and Japan is becoming stronger in the cybersecurity area. With the increase in China’s power, the latest security guidelines will make Tokyo more important in Asia in terms of security. These guidelines also include the use of ballistic missile defense systems.

The United States is better at cybersecurity than Japan and this can be demonstrated through the number of people who are members of the cyber defense unit for each of the two countries. While Japan’s unit has only ninety members, the number of members for the Pentagon is of over six thousand. These numbers were revealed by Japanese Defense Ministry. Japan has the largest American military contingent in Asia, but this country did not build a strong defense against cyber attacks yet. On the other hand, the United States does the opposite. There are many investments made in building defenses against cyber attacks, but also in creating a retaliation force.

The Olympics in 2020 are hosted by Tokyo and this is another good reason for Japan to increase its cybersecurity. The number of attacks will surely increase during the Olympics. Japanese defense experts say that, even now, there is a large number of cyber attacks on government websites. It seems that there are attacks seen every few seconds and the Japanese ministry of defense wants to use the help of the United States. There has been a meeting in Singapore between US and Japan officials for the purpose of discussing about the availability of cyber weapons in the Unites States. The two countries must join forces for dealing with different cyber threats that may occur. The possibility to retaliate with cyber weapons has been discussed as well.

Two days after the information about the new strategy was released, the national pensions system of Japan was hacked and a huge amount of private data was leaked. The pension ID’s, addresses, names and birth dates of many people were exposed. The breach was possible because an employee has accessed a malicious email. Luckily, there was no financial data accessed. But, Japan may not always be so lucky. The financial consequences of a more serious attack could be devastating.

One of the reasons for strengthening the defenses is the fact that there have been serious attacks on corporations lately. One of these attacks happened last year, when Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked and the United States has considered North Korea as guilty. The Chinese Defense Ministry is not very pleased by the plans to increase cybersecurity, because they may lead to more tensions in the field of Internet security. Despite the repeated accusations made by the United States that China is responsible for different attacks, the government of Beijing does not see China as a guilty country.

The elephant in the room for anyone that is really paying attention is that the mighty USA, which has volunteered to protect the weaker more vulnerable Japan from the cyber hackers was just yesterday hacked and millions of government employees personal information was stolen. The culprit this time seems to be China but it begs the question is anyone’s information safe from hackers or should we go back to pen and typewriter to store our sensitive data?