The US National Security Agency learned in the fall of 2020 that Chinese hackers had obtained access to Japan’s secure military networks. The attackers had unrestricted access and sought to get any useful information, including assessments of the Japanese defensive system’s plans, capabilities, and weaknesses.
The event, one of the most destructive cyberattacks in contemporary Japanese history, involved cyberspies from the People’s Liberation Army of China (PLA) infiltrating Japan’s most critical computer networks. Japan has increased its cyber defenses in response to China’s cyberattacks by quadrupling its military cyber force to 4,000 personnel and ten-folding its cyber security budget over the next five years.
The networks are still seen to be inadequately shielded from Beijing’s meddling, though. Improved intelligence cooperation between the Pentagon and Japan’s Ministry of Defense may be hampered by insufficient security. The Pentagon has raised alarm over potential Chinese spying using Chinese-made port cranes that are present in American ports all around the nation.
In addition, Rapid7 experts reported at the end of June that a number of cyberattackers targeting Japan are doing so for both financial and espionage reasons.
Researchers discovered that China, North Korea, and Vietnam, three of the four nations that are often the source of state-sponsored threats, are monitoring the East Asian nation.