The Japanese government has passed a new law amendment that will allow officials to hack into citizen’s Internet of Things devices to compile a list of devices that are prone to hacking.
The government will attempt to break into the devices as a part of a survey that will be carried out by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT); The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will supervise the survey.
Default passwords and password dictionaries will be used to hack into citizen’s devices. The Japanese government wants to weed out the devices that are using easy to guess passwords and can be hacked easily. The owners of such devices will be, then, notified and will be urged to change the password.
The survey will be started next month onwards, and more than 200 million IoT devices including routers and web cameras will be tested.
The plan is to secure all the devices before the upcoming Summer Olympics that will be held in the capital Tokyo in 2020. The government fears that bad actors could use IoT devices to attack Games’ IT Infrastructure and wants to take all the necessary steps to evade any such attempt.
The news of the survey has sparked outrage in Japanese citizens. Many have deemed it as a direct attack on privacy and advocated that the government could have simply sent an alert to all the users about securing their devices.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht