A new law has been passed in Japan that will allow its government to hack into citizen’s IoT devices. The move by the Japanese government comes as the country has seen a sharp rise in attacks launched at IoT devices.
The government will try to break into devices as part of a survey that will be controlled by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will supervise the survey. NICT employees undertaking the survey will be logging into Japanese consumers’ IoT devices using default passwords and password dictionaries they have access to.
By doing so, the government plans to prepare a list of insecure devices that use default and easy-to-guess passwords. They plan to pass this information on to relevant authorities so that steps can be taken to secure these devices, ensuring that consumers in the country are well protected. The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that the year 2016 saw a huge number of cyber attacks and as many as two-thirds of these targeted the IoT devices.
Apparently, the initiative by the government has been taken keeping in mind the looming Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Although the government is facing some flak for taking this step, it is perhaps right as attacks launched at IoT devices during the major sporting event could cause massive damage to the Games’ IT infrastructure and moreover tarnish the country’s image internationally.