[STATE] When the Japanese government wants to hack into the 200,000 connected objects of its citizens…

    In order to secure the Internet of Things before the 2020 Olympic Games, the Japanese government approved an amendment to hack into its citizens’ 200 million connected objects. To combat massive piracy potential at the upcoming Summer Olympics, Japan approved an amendment on 25 January concerning the National Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (NICT) under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior and Communications. In order to carry out an in-depth analysis of the security level of IoT products, NICT employees will have to check all passwords and default administrator IDs used by manufacturers from February 2019 onwards. They will proceed in stages, starting by exploring the most sensitive products (routers, connected cameras…). Both individuals and companies will be affected. After compromising, users of the objects will have to change their passwords.

Japan is facing an emergency according to its Ministry of Interior and Communications. According to the latter, “two thirds of cyber attacks in 2016 targeted connected objects“. In response, Japan wishes to protect the IT infrastructure that will be used at the next Olympic Games. Hackers could find vulnerabilities and compromise their progress. This wave of mistrust is facing Olympic Destroyer malware launched by Russian pirates just before the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea. These attackers were taking revenge for the ban on competing addressed to hundreds of Russian athletes. However, this measure, which the Japanese do not like, is perceived as useless in view of its purpose. According to some, “the government’s action would then give no guarantee that the users concerned would change their passwords“. This measure is seen more as a mass surveillance.