Japan to hack 200 million IoT devices

Published: 30 January 2019 - 9:58 a.m.
By: Mark Sutton

Japanese authorities have launched a campaign to hack into citizens Internet of Things (IoT) devices to improve national cybersecurity.

The government has passed a law which will allow security experts from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) to hack into home and business devices connected to the internet.

The campaign is intended as a survey of unsecured devices, to help authorities to improve security ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

The security testing will not include aggressive hacking, but will aim to login to devices using default passwords or commonly used passwords. Details of unsecured devices will be shared with ISPs, so that they can alert their customers and educate them on improving security.

Over 200 million devices in homes and offices will be targeted by the campaign.

The plan is part of preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, which will be hosted in Japan next summer. Major sporting events have often seen widespread cybercrime, and the Winter Olympics in South Korea saw targeted attacks against by IoT devices, which were blamed on Russian hackers.

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