The chief government spokesperson of Japan on Tuesday said that the country will use cyber attack countermeasures to protect the Tokyo Olympic Games and ensure that they are a success.
The United States along with Britain criticised on Monday the Russian military intelligence, after alleging that they orchestrated a series of vicious cyber attacks in an attempt to obstruct the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The chief cabinet secretary of Japan, Katsunobu Kato, stated in a news conference that the country is in communication with the United States and the United Kingdom regarding the issue and were in the process of obtaining and analysing information. However, he did not provide details.
“We would not be able to overlook an ill-intentioned cyber-attack that could undermine the foundation of democracy,” Kato said.
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The British officials stated hackers from Russia's GRU military intelligence carried out the cyber activity before the decision to postpone the Tokyo Games was made in March following the Covid-19 pandemic. They also stated that those hackers also conducted cyber reconnaissance on organisers, sponsor firms and logistics providers.
However, no one has given details on the cyberattack and it is unclear if it actually inflicted any damage.
The organising committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics stated in a statement that the impact would not be significant from the possible cyberattacks on its operation.
“Tokyo 2020 sees cyber security as an important aspect of hosting the Games, and the Tokyo 2020 organising committee has been taking a range of measures and making thorough preparations,” the IOC told the Guardian in an email.“Although we are not able to disclose details of the countermeasures due to the nature of the topic, we will continue to work closely with the relevant organisations and authorities to ensure that they are thoroughly implemented.”
According to the Kyodo news agency, a senior japanese government official stated that if it is confirmed that the cyber attacks were carried out by Russia then Tokyo would consider protesting against Moscow.
While Moscow has denied the allegations, it is not the first time Russia has attempted to hack international sporting organisations and according to Western officials and cyber security experts, there have been strings of hacking attempts orchestrated by Russia since the doping scandal, which was five year ago.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had banned Russia last year in December from participating in the Olympics and World Championship in a range of sports for four years for doping offenses and manipulating laboratory data.
"The IOC and the Organising Committees of the Olympic Games have identified cyber security as a priority area and invest a lot to offer the Olympic Games the best cyber security environment possible," a spokesperson of the IOC told Reuters in an email. "Given the nature of the topic, we do not divulge those measures."
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