Large drills planned to avert cyber-attacks on 2020 Tokyo Olympics

To counter cyber-attacks against the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry will begin in fiscal 2016 to implement large-scale practical drills with virtually constructed systems, including a mock version of the event's official site, ticket sales portals and others.

In the drills, experts and others chosen from among the public will be divided into offensive and defensive sides based on anticipated cyber-attacks on the virtual systems. The ministry hopes to identify weak points in the systems and address them. It also aims to recruit or nurture personnel skilled in information technology fields.

It is believed that, in addition to the official event site and ticket sales system, there will be a wide range of systems that use Internet and telecommunications technology, which could be targets of cyber-attacks linked to the Tokyo Games. They include Internet systems (in particular those using Wireless Fidelity), train and subway public transportation systems, TV broadcasting systems and security camera systems around the competition venues.

To ensure better management, enhancing measures against cyber-attacks at the events is essential.

The ministry plans to create large-scale virtual systems, with some experts launching cyber-attacks on the systems while others will try to detect the attacks and take defensive measures. The exercise will be repeated with experts switching sides in an effort to find more effective ways to cope with cyber-attacks.

The ministry plans to invite applications from experts in the IT field and from among the public. From a long-term point of view, it sees middle and high school students as possible expert candidates.

The ministry plans to allocate more than ¥1 billion (S$11.78 million) of its budget request for the next fiscal year as costs for the cybersecurity project.

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