Japan to hack citizens’ IoT devices ahead of 2020 Olympics

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Japanese authorities have reportedly approved a new amendment to a law, which would 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 state-sponsored hacking initiative will begin next month with a trial of 200 million devices, starting with webcams and modems. A communications ministry official asked the public for its support and understanding, citing the need to improve cybersecurity in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next year.

This government-launched campaign is intended to access internet-connected devices to find vulnerabilities as a means to beef up cybersecurity and spot exploits in unsecured devices. The plan is to prevent any kind of cyber-attack from crippling the infrastructure that will support the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

The survey will be carried out by employees of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) under the supervision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. According to reports, staff at the NICT will use default passwords and password dictionaries to try and hack randomly-selected IoT devices, and compile a list of vulnerable devices.

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