According to the Japan Times, The Japanese government has announced the development of malware, consisting of viruses and backdoors which will be the countries’ first form of cyber-weaponry.
Japan is the latest country to create a cyber-arsenal following in the footsteps of the USA, UK, and Germany. The technology is to be produced by private contractors and is due for completion by the end of 2019. The introduction of malware as a defense is part of a modernization attempt by Japan’s military to expand into cyber-weapons. Officials hope the possession of these new cyber-defenses will deter foreign hackers from targeting their country.
This is the second attempt by Tokyo’s government to establish its cyber defenses. In 2012 the country contracted the Japanese information technology developer, Fujitsu, to design “search and destroy” malware, which never produced the desired results.
In 2016, The North Atlantic Treaty Organization declared “cyber” an official battlefield next to air, ground, and sea.
Some skeptics believe Japan will not successfully deter foreign cyber-attacks with this new malware, as countries like the USA are in possession of far greater cyber defenses, and are constantly targeted by hackers from China, Russia, Iran, and North-Korea.
This latest development of cyberweapons comes shortly after the Japanese government passed legislation allowing employees from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) to hack 200 million citizens IoT accounts ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in order to identify security flaws and avoid cyber attacks like the Olympic Destroyer.
The Olympic Destroyer was a cyber-sabotage attack which hit the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. This destructive network worm targeted IoT devices and caused a number of issues during the games.