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Japanese gov't urges firms, orgs to be on guard for Russian cyberattacks

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno has urged domestic companies and organizations to be on their guard against cyberattacks, with possible Russian retaliation for sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine in mind.

    "We need to once more deepen our awareness about the threat of cyberattacks," Matsuno said in a Feb. 24 news conference.

    Cyberattacks against the Ukrainian government and banks have already been confirmed, and authorities in the United States and European countries are wary of attacks on firms and key infrastructure in the Group of Seven nations.

    Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced sanctions against Russia on Feb. 23 after Moscow recognized the independence of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and its decision to deploy troops there.

    Following Kishida's announcement, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry asked companies and industry organizations to strengthen security, such as tightening access privileges and identity verification systems, and to confirm cyberattack response procedures. It is also calling for Japanese companies to beef up countermeasures at their overseas offices.

    (Japanese original by Shuhei Endo, Political News Department)

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