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Japan to Check 200 Million Devices for Cybersecurity Risks

Japan to Check 200 Million Devices for Cybersecurity Risks

As part of the preparations for next year’s summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology will check about 200 million internet-connected devices for potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

As part of the preparations for next year’s summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology will check about 200 million internet-connected devices for potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities, according to Channel News Asia.

The government agency will begin checking the devices in February to check for vulnerabilities in items like routers, webcams and web-connected home appliances. The institute will not check individual mobile products like smartphones.

The researchers will get permission from internet service providers to survey the technology and will mostly look at products that connect to the internet via physical cables, according to Institute spokesman Tsutomu Yoshida.

Yoshida said that in the study, researchers will check common but unsafe IDs and passwords often exploited by malware—such as “1234,” “abcd,” or “admin”—to see if hackers can easily access the devices.

"Too often, we see webcams, for example, that are already being hacked because security settings are too simple and their images are being seen by outsiders. Sometimes they are put on public websites without the owners being aware," Yoshida said. “We will see, of roughly 200 million products to be surveyed, how many are being exposed.”

The survey will alert ISPs about vulnerable users without looking at individual products to view user data, Yoshida said.

Major global sporting events have suffered cyber attacks in the past, such as last year’s PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. During the events, internal internet and wifi systems failed just as the opening ceremonies started.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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