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Record high 12,275 cybercrimes detected by police in Japan amid pandemic

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TOKYO -- A record high 12,275 cases of cybercrimes such as unauthorized access were detected across Japan in 2021, the National Police Agency announced on Jan. 28.

    It was the first time the figure, a provisional one, had exceeded 10,000, which is an increase of 2,400 cases from the previous year. The number of cybercrimes has been growing for seven consecutive years, and the year-on-year rate of increase during this period was a little over 8% at most, but it surged by 24.3% in 2021.

    The agency believes that the spread of electronic payment systems and other services induced by the progress in digitalization amid the coronavirus pandemic is an underlying factor in the spike in numbers.

    On average, there were 7,335 (provisional) suspicious access cases that appeared to be cyberattacks per day. The figure increased by 12.7% from the pervious year, and reached an all-time high. The number has nearly quadrupled in the past five years since 2017, and the threat is becoming worse.

    (Japanese original by Naritake Machida, Tokyo City News Department)

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