Japan Set to Develop Elite White Hat Agency

The Japanese government is set to create a new agency tasked with recruiting a crack team of white hats and conducting cybersecurity R&D ahead of the 2020 Olympics, it has been revealed.

The privately funded agency, which has the working title of the Industrial Cybersecurity Promotion Agency, will form the front line in the defense of the country’s critical infrastructure, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun.

It will be tied to the Economy, Trade and Industry ministry and staffed by “dozens” of security experts, the report claimed.

One half of the agency will apparently deal with the recruitment of cybersecurity experts, and the other with research.

The agency will also be involved in conducting cyber readiness exercises to test the country’s preparedness for a major attack ahead of, or during, the Summer Games. It will co-ordinate its efforts with universities and foreign agencies such as the US Department of Homeland Security.

According to the report, Japan currently lacks such a body to take charge of advanced R&D and nurturing cybersecurity talent to work for the government.

When it comes to CNI, it will cover industries including electricity, gas and chemical facilities, with the budget set to be thrashed out in fiscal 2017.

Japan has been a regular target in the past both for financially motivated cyber-criminals, hacktivists and stats sponsored operatives.

Security vendor Cylance claimed back in February that it had discovered a multi-year advanced targeted attack campaign focused mainly on Japanese companies and foreign organizations headquartered in Japan.

Operation Dust Storm appeared to be targeting Japanese critical infrastructure firms in the electricity, oil and natural gas, finance, transportation, and construction sectors, the firm said.

The country’s financial institutions have also been under fire of late from a wave of banking trojans such as Shifu.

Japan signed a cyber ‘agreement’ with the EU back in 2014 focused on “promoting cooperation on cyberspace through exchanges of our respective extensive experience and knowledge.”

 

 

SOURCE: Phil Muncaster | Infosecurity Magazine

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