Japan condemns China-based cyberattacks, urges Beijing to take ‘responsible’ action

  • Tokyo said it identified attacks by hacking group known as APT10
  • US said two Chinese nationals part of the group were indicted over alleged state-sponsored hacking targeting government agencies and companies
PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 December, 2018, 2:43pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 December, 2018, 2:57pm

Japan on Friday criticised an alleged China-based hacking group over cyberattacks targeting the Japanese government, companies and academic institutions, and urged Beijing to take “responsible” actions.

Takeshi Osuga, the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s press secretary, said: “All the G20 [Group of 20] members, including China, have affirmed their commitment to the prohibition of ICT enabled theft of intellectual property, and are required to take responsible actions as a member of the international community.”

ICT stands for information and communication technology.

“Japan has identified continuous attacks by the group known as APT10 to various domestic targets … and expresses resolute condemnation of such attacks,” Osuga said.

China accused by US and allies of ‘massive hacking campaign to steal trade secrets and technologies’

The rebuke came as the US Justice Department said on Thursday two Chinese nationals were indicted over alleged state-sponsored cyber hacking targeting government agencies and companies in the United States, Japan, Britain and other countries.

The two were identified as members of the group known within the cybersecurity community as Advanced Persistent Threat 10 and acted in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s Tianjin State Security Bureau, according to the department.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the top government spokesman, said Tokyo has identified “prolonged and wide-ranging” cyberattacks by the APT10 group to its government and other institutions. But he declined to reveal any reports of damage for fear of disclosing Japan’s ability to counter such attacks.

“Japan will continue to closely cooperate with the international community and make efforts in order to ensure a free, fair and secure cyberspace,” Osuga said in the statement, adding that the government will “issue an alert to call upon adequate domestic cybersecurity measures”.