Japanese Defense Ministry Developing Cyber Weapon

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Headlines

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The Daily Yomiuri reports that the Japanese Defense Ministry is working with private contractor Fujitsu on developing malware capable of tracking and disabling the source of cyber attacks.

The cyber weapon has been in development since 2008 and is currently being tested on closed systems, according to the report.

"The most distinctive feature of the new virus is its ability to trace cyber-attack sources. It can identify not only the immediate source of attack, but also all "springboard" computers used to transmit the virus. The virus also has the ability to disable the attacking program and collect relevant information. Test runs in closed networks have helped the ministry to confirm the cyberweapon's functionality and compile data on cyber-attack patterns," The Daily Yomiuri states.

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The designer malware has had a great deal of success in combating distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, according to unnamed sources.

"The program can identify the source of a cyber-attack to a high degree of accuracy for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, as well as some attacks aimed at stealing information stored in target computers. In DDoS attacks, hackers send target websites enormous volumes of data, eventually forcing them to shut down," the report states.

While Japanese law prohibits the use of offensive cyber weapons, the Defense Ministry is looking into the possibility that future legislation may allow for the use of these kinds of methodologies to protect critical systems.

Other countries closely aligned with Japan, such as the United States, have no prohibitions on the use of offensive cyber capabilities, though it is not known whether Japan is planning on sharing the technology once it is fully developed.

Source:  http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120102002799.htm

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