Japan Suspects Cyber Attacks Amid China Row

Japan suspects its defence ministry and national police agency websites have come under cyber attack this week, a news report said Friday. Japan suspects its defence ministry and national police agency websites have come under cyber attack this week, a news report said Friday, amid a bitter row with China over a territorial dispute. The government is looking into the attacks given that China’s largest known hackers’ group had warned it would attack Japanese government websites until Saturday in protest over the maritime incident, Kyodo News agency reported. The defence ministry and national police agency websites became difficult to access, possibly because of cyber attacks, between Wednesday and Friday, unnamed government officials were quoted as saying. The method of attack was believed to be a so-called distributed denial of service attacks, in which a group of hackers flood a target website with a mass of data, slowing it to a crawl, the official was quoted as saying. The defence ministry said access to its website surged for about half an hour Wednesday evening and the police agency said access to its website slowed considerably overnight from Thursday to early Friday. The news report also said the government had called on municipal governments and public universities to increase surveillance of their websites and check their responses in case hackers launch an attack on their sites. Japan and China are embroiled in their worst spat in years, stemming from the September 7 collision of a Chinese fishing trawler and two Japanese coastguard vessels near a disputed island chain in the East China Sea. China has so far summoned Japan’s ambassador five times over the incident, cancelled a senior lawmaker’s Tokyo visit and repeatedly demanded the boat’s captain be released from Japanese custody. It has also resumed unilateral work on a gas field in a disputed maritime territory, after scrapping talks on its joint exploitation with Japan. Japan has called the situation “extremely regrettable”. Its officials also say there are no plans for the prime ministers of the two countries to meet next week on the sidelines of a UN summit in New York. ((17 SEP 2010))









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