TOKYO-The Japanese government plans to both increase the number and expand the scale of exercises to counter cyberattacks as part of preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, government sources said Saturday.
The drills, now held about six times a year and involving central government ministry and agency officials, will be increased to at least 10 a year and expanded to include officials of local governments that are falling behind in cyber security measures.
The 2012 London Olympics official website is known to have been attacked about 200 million times, and Japan is bracing for even more attacks in 2020.
During the exercises, participants are divided into teams that learn how to determine which computer terminals have been attacked and how to prevent the situation from worsening, as well how to investigate the cause and report to superiors.
The central government believes local governments lack experience in dealing with cyberattacks, which could strike anywhere in Japan during the Olympics.
It plans to prioritize training officials of municipalities in remote areas, as they cannot rely on specialists in urban areas if their computer systems are attacked.
For Tokyo Olympic organizing committee officials, the central government plans drills involving simulated attacks on the ticket sales system of a mock official website, the sources said.
By having local government officials in charge of computer systems and others join the drills, the number of participants is expected to increase to 2,000 from 300 now, the sources said.
The government also plans to send officials to London and to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which will host the 2016 Games, to collect information on cyber security.
The government is moving to bolster cyber security after a series of security breaches. The Japan Pension Service, operator of the country’s public pension program, was hit by cyberattacks in May, leading to the leakage of 1.25 million people’s personal data.