Cyber-attacks on Japan up 8,300 percent

Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) says that the country's government and official bodies suffered more than 25 billion online attacks in 2014, with 40 percent of them traced to China according to a report by Kyodo News, with other leading sources of attack including South Korea, Russia, and the US.

NICT has a network of 250,000 sensors which recorded 25.66 billion attempts to compromise systems last year, up almost 8,300 percent on the first survey in 2005, when just 310 million attempts were recorded. Attacks include testing for software vulnerabilities on servers as well as attempts to take over routers, security cameras, and other systems connected to the internet.

No figures are given for the number of false positives, but NATO infrastructures in Europe suffered 73 billion attacks last year from ‘several hundred' sensors, according to figures given to SC by Ian West, chief, Cyber Security for NATO's NCI Agency (See SC Magazine March issue), and of these, after issues handled by automated defences are taken into account, it still needs to intervene on some 3,650 incidents a year. 

Thus if Japan's automated defences are comparable, that would leave it with around 1,200 incidents needing an active response – but it is likely the figure may be lower given that the higher number of sensors suggest that a lot of attacks will be on less sensitive connected devices. The astonishing growth in reported attacks may also partially be a reflection of the growth in the number of sensors deployed.