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Japanese government plans to hack insecure IoT devices with an aim to protect them from hackers

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  • The program which is a part of a survey will help the government figure out the number of insecure IoT devices in the country.
  • The survey is scheduled to kick off next month and involves the security test of over 200 million IoT devices.

The Japanese government has approved a new amendment that would allow government officials to hack into citizens’ IoT devices. The program which is a part of a survey will help the government to figure out the number of insecure IoT devices in the country.

About the survey

The survey is scheduled to kick off next month and involves the security test of over 200 million IoT devices. Devices in homes and on enterprise networks will be tested alike under the penetration test program.

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.

A list of default passwords and password dictionaries will be leveraged to make login attempts into Japanese consumers’ IoT devices.

The main aim of the survey is to compile a list of insecure devices and secure them in advance of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. The government is afraid that hackers might abuse IoT devices to launch attacks against the Games’ IT infrastructure.

For instance, in early 2018, Russian nation-state hackers had deployed the Olympic Destroyer malware to ruin the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics held in South Korea. In another incident, the Russian hackers had used VPNFilter botnet to hinder the broadcast of the 2018 UEFA Champions League final.

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