Chinese cybertroops hacked into Japanese military networks and had “permanent, deep access” to them for months. Washington Post. The vulnerability was discovered by American experts, but Japan decided to deal with the problem on their own and did not confirm the data leak.
The vulnerability of Japanese military assets was discovered by experts from the US National Security Agency in late 2020. After that, the head of the NSA and the commander of the US Cyber Command, General Paul Nakasone (Paul Nakasone) and Deputy White House National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger personally flew to Japan to report the incident to the country’s authorities.
A series of briefings were held on the incident, which was also attended by the Japanese Prime Minister, but the hacking attacks from China lasted several months until early 2021. The US Cyber Command offered Japan help to clean systems of malware that infected the country’s military resources, but was rejected – Tokyo did not want another country’s armed forces to have open access to its systems. Japan brought in local cybersecurity companies, while US contributions were limited to vulnerability reports.
As a result of the incident, Japan decided to strengthen its national security strategy, including the formation of a 24-hour network surveillance unit that will involve 4,000 staff. In response to the publicity of the incident, the Japanese authorities expressed reluctance. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno confirmed that the country has always had close ties with the US at various levels. “Due to the nature of the matter, I cannot provide further details, but we have not confirmed that classified information was leaked as a result of cyberattacks.”— explained officially.