Hackers hit Japan for fifth time

For the fifth time in a week, Japan has been targeted by hackers intent on causing the government as much embarrassment as possible

Computer hackers attacked Japanese government sites again Thursday -- the fifth time in a week -- forcing the capital Tokyo to shut down two sites.

According to reports, officials reported several unsuccessful attempts by hackers to penetrate government sites after the Management and Coordination Agency (MCA) realised Thursday that it had been hit by a hacking exploit for the second time in a week. The sites were defaced according to reports.

The reports say the MCA and the Japanese Science and Technology Agency, closed their respective sites.

A team of experts was called by the government during an emergency meeting Thursday to prevent further attacks. In one report, Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi seemed bemused by the apparent 'pick on us' attacks on Japan's systems. "I think Japan is taking protective measures...but why now?" Obuchi was quoted as saying. "It should not be that Japan was caught off guard."

The attacks came a day after Japan's government said it would set up an anti-hacker task force.

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