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Japan government websites inaccessible, cyberattacks suspected



Japan government websites inaccessible, cyberattacks suspected

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 February, 2016, 2:47pm
UPDATED : Monday, 01 February, 2016, 2:54pm

Kyodo in Tokyo

The website of Japan’s Ministry of Finance has been inaccessible. Photo: SCMP Picture

The websites of Japanese government entities and the lower house have been temporarily inaccessible since Sunday night after possible cyberattacks, officials said Monday.

The officials reported to police what were believed to be DDoS attacks, technically called “distributed denial of service” attacks, which are intended to paralyse a targeted website by overwhelming it with much higher-than-normal levels of traffic sent from multiple networks.

The affected websites are of the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry, the Finance Ministry, the Financial Services Agency and the House of Representatives.

The ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous has previously carried out attacks on Japan government websites including that of the town of Taiji to protest the annual dolphin hunt. Photo: SCMP Picture

The health ministry said its website became inaccessible from around 10:40 p.m. Sunday, but recovered at around 12:10 a.m. Monday.

The ministry’s website suffered a similar attack twice in late January and once in November. For two out of the three attacks, an international group of “hacktivists” known as Anonymous had said it will stage cyberattacks. Anonymous has carried out an organised campaign to protest Japan’s pro-whaling policies and dolphin hunt in the town of Taiji.

The FSA website also became hard to access from late Sunday night. The agency said it has confirmed a tweet hinting at an attack apparently posted by Anonymous.

There has been no leakage of information or defacing of the website, the FSA said. The agency faced a similar problem on January 18.