Japan’s military was hacked – by China

In the fall of 2020, the NSA discovered a deep Chinese hacking attack on the Japanese military. A significant counterattack failed to materialize for a long time.

The Chinese military apparently gained access to the most secret networks of the Japanese Ministry of Defense years ago – and Japan had long failed to respond adequately, as the Washington Post now reported, citing anonymous sources from the U.S. government and Japan.

The hackers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army would have had deep and permanent access to the networks of the Japanese Ministry of Defense, through which they probably tried to tap all the information that was somehow available. The target of the attack is said to have been plans, capabilities and assessments of military shortcomings.

NSA detects hacking attack


According to the Washington Post, the alarming discovery was made by the US foreign intelligence agency NSA in the fall of 2020. At that time, the head of the NSA personally flew to Japan to inform about the hack. Japan’s government wanted to investigate the matter – but apparently did not do so very carefully. A year later, the U.S. had noticed a lack of progress in defending against the cyber attack, whereupon the new president Joe Biden again sent a U.S. delegation to Japan – hacked by China.

Further procedure


Japan may have initially shown a certain degree of distrust toward the U.S., as the U.S. government did not want to reveal how exactly it had become aware of the hack. Eventually, the two countries would have agreed that Japan’s cybersecurity experts would conduct their own investigations and that the NSA would review their findings and make suggestions. In addition, according to the Washington Post, Japan wanted to increase its cybersecurity budget tenfold and increase the corresponding part of its military to 4,000 people.

When the Chinese attackers were kicked out of the Japanese networks – or if at all – cannot be inferred from the Washington Post report. Learn more.

Source: heise.de