Chinese military hackers infiltrated classified defense networks in Japan, potentially exposing vital data about Japan’s military plans and capabilities, as revealed by a Washington Post report. The intrusion, which began in 2020, was discovered by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and described as deep-rooted, with continuous breaches even into the Biden administration.
Upon discovery in 2020, NSA leaders briefed the Japanese defense minister in Tokyo. To address the vulnerabilities, the U.S. and Japan collaborated with a Japanese commercial firm, with the U.S. NSA/Cyber Command reviewing the findings and suggesting protective measures.
This cyberattack underscores the growing threat of Chinese state-sponsored hacking. Previous incidents include the infiltration of email accounts from various U.S. organizations and a targeted attempt on U.S. critical infrastructure. Consequently, Japan aims to bolster its cybersecurity by adding 4,000 members to its military cyber security force and allocating $7 billion for cybersecurity in the next five years.
There’s growing concern over Japan’s cyber defense response speed, which might influence the extent of information sharing by U.S. officials with their main regional ally.