Japan sees record 12.8B cyberattacks

Country detected over 12.8 billion cyberattacks launched against the government and other organizations last year, a record number since such attempts were tracked in 2005.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Japan saw some 12.8 billion cyberattacks launched against government and other organizations in the country last year, a record number since such attempts were tracked in 2005.

Officials from state-run agency, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), said cyberattacks originating from China, the United States, and emerging countries had been growing. Its monitoring system comprises some 210,000 sensors which track whether access to servers operated by government and other organizations are malicious, according to a report by Japan's Kyodo News agency.

NICT identified over 12.8 billion cyberattacks in 2013, climbing 64.1 percent from 7.8 billion the previous year, though it noted the increase could partly have been due to more sensors installed to support its surveillance. The institute identified 300 million cyberattacks in 2005 when it began its monitoring activities, which grew to 5.7 billion in 2010. 

It did not provide a list of countries from which attacks originated, but pointed to China, the U.S., Russia, and Brazil as some popular markets. Launched attacks comprised distributed denial of service (DDoS) as well as system probes to determine if the servers were vulnerable.

According to the report, NICT last May identified cyberattacks on some government servers following criticism from hacktivist group, Anonymous, over Japan's whaling activities. The group had threatened via a YouTube video to launch attacks on local organizations. 

Anonymous staged its first protest in Japan in July 2012, when men and women wearing the group's Guy Fawkes mask took to the streets to voice their displeasure after the government introduced new laws for illegal web downloads. It had earlier launched cyberattacks against government sites in retaliation against the law.

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