Japan to use cyberattack countermeasures to protect Tokyo Games


FILE PHOTO: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office building is lit up with the Olympic symbol colors on the day marking the one-year countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan July 23, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's chief government spokesman said on Tuesday the country will put cyberattack countermeasures in place to make sure the Tokyo Olympics are a success.

Britain and the United States on Monday condemned what they said were a series of malicious cyberattacks orchestrated by Russian military intelligence, including attempts to disrupt the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The Games were originally set for this year but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato also told a news conference that Japan was in close contact with the United States and United Kingdom over the issue and was gathering and analysing information, but did not give further details.

British officials said on Monday the hackers from Russia's GRU military intelligence agency had also conducted "cyber reconnaissance" operations against Tokyo Games organisers.

They declined to give specific details about the latest attacks or say whether they were successful, but said they had targeted Games organisers, logistics suppliers and sponsors.

The 2020 organising committee said in a statement there was "no significant impact observed" from possible cyber attacks on its operations.

The attacks on the 2020 Games are the latest in a string of hacking attempts against international sporting organisations that Western officials and cybersecurity experts say have been orchestrated by Russia since its doping scandal erupted five years ago. Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Russia was banned from the world's top sporting events for four years in December over widespread doping offences, including the Tokyo Games.

An International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman said they emphasized cybersecurity.

"The IOC and the Organising Committees of the Olympic Games have identified cyber security as a priority area and invest a lot to offer the Olympic Games the best cyber security environment possible," the spokesman told Reuters in an email.

"Given the nature of the topic, we do not divulge those measures."

(Reporting by Ami Miyazaki, Jack Tarrant and Tetsushi Kajimoto, writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by Himani Sarkar/Peter Rutherford)

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