Japanese Military May Guard Nuclear Sites From Cyber-Threats

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Global Security Newswire Staff
May 13, 2014, 10:04 a.m.

In­siders say Ja­pan is de­vis­ing pro­ced­ures for its armed forces to pro­tect do­mest­ic atom­ic fa­cil­it­ies from com­puter-based strikes, the Maini­chi Daily News re­ports.

The Ja­pan­ese gov­ern­ment is still de­cid­ing if it will per­mit its Self De­fense Forces to use mal­ware in a po­ten­tial re­tali­ation against com­puters at­tack­ing a nuc­le­ar en­ergy site or oth­er sens­it­ive loc­a­tion, the news­pa­per re­por­ted late last week. The is­land na­tion’s atom­ic en­ergy fa­cil­it­ies have been largely in sus­pen­sion since 2011, when an earth­quake and tsunami led to melt­downs in sev­er­al re­act­ors at the Fukushi­ma Daii­chi nuc­le­ar plant.

Pro­tect­ing Ja­pan’s com­mand-and-con­trol sys­tems from pos­sible elec­tron­ic as­saults is the ob­ject­ive of a spe­cial task force es­tab­lished by the coun­try’s de­fense min­istry in March, the Maini­chi re­por­ted. The group of about 90 people only wields au­thor­iz­a­tion to guard equip­ment link­ing the Ja­pan­ese min­istry to do­mest­ic mil­it­ary in­stall­a­tions.

On Monday, Ja­pan and Is­rael agreed to ini­ti­ate a cy­ber-de­fense dia­logue between their re­spect­ive na­tion­al se­cur­ity agen­cies, Ja­pan­ese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe said in com­ments re­por­ted by Bloomberg.

Abe and his Is­raeli coun­ter­part Ben­jamin Net­an­yahu is­sued a joint state­ment af­firm­ing “the ne­ces­sity of co­oper­a­tion in the field of cy­ber­se­cur­ity and … af­firmed the im­port­ance of bi­lat­er­al de­fense co­oper­a­tion,” the Times of Is­rael re­por­ted.

The po­s­i­tion was in line with the stance of a Ja­pan­ese mil­it­ary del­eg­a­tion that traveled to Is­rael, ac­cord­ing to the re­leased com­ments.

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