Japan is gearing up for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, however, the website for Olympics and Paralympic Games might be vulnerable to cyberthreats, such as ransomware, fake entry passes, and leaks of personal information. Owing to the high volume of tourists and possible threat analysis conducted by the governing authorities, Japan’s Communication Ministry has tabled a set of an emergency proposal that includes guidelines to mitigate risks and incidence response for cyberattacks.
The Communication Ministry panel identified certain devices and technologies including IoT (Internet of Things) devices that are vulnerable to cyberattacks. The emergency package says that, “it is desirable to consider publishing information on cyberattacks swiftly at the point in which leaks of personal information are suspected,” calling for information-sharing with relevant organizations.
Modern digital cameras with sensors and professional automated cameras and video recorders are remotely controlled over a networking system. These networks are soft targets for hackers as they are often handled by camera technicians who may be unaware about advanced cybersecurity concepts. More often, users forget to change their default device password or initial settings. Thus, the panel proposed that checkpoints are set up and thorough checks be conducted on gadgets and devices that are susceptible to cyberattacks, urging users to make changes if problems are found.
The panel has also recommended cybersecurity training to local government municipalities as nearly half of its staff is unaware of basic cyberattack precautionary and response measures.
Japan has been on its heels with respect to cybersecurity since 2018, when the Japanese government introduced a new cybersecurity strategy in a meeting held at the government’s Cyber Security Strategy Headquarters. As a part of the strategy, the government created a new body to ensure effective coordination among government agencies, the Olympic organizing committee, municipalities, and business operators, to respond to cyberthreats. The government also introduced a five-level scale to classify the severity of cyberattacks that included: Level 0 (lowest) indicating “No Impact” while Level 4 (highest) indicating “Extremely Grave Impact.”
Earlier in December 2019, the authorities of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games issued a warning about an ongoing phishing campaign. It’s said that the suspicious emails are designed to look like they’re coming from the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020.
“We have recently detected emails disguised to look like they are coming from a Tokyo 2020 staff member. Although the email may look official and legitimate, if you have no reason to receive such an email or if the content is questionable, you should not click on the link or open any attached files. It is highly likely that you would be directed to a phishing site or your computer would be exposed to a virus,” the authorities said in an official statement.