Tokyo Police Start Cybersecurity Drill

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Metropolitan Police Department started a joint drill with private businesses on Monday to prepare for cyberattacks.

The training, joined by companies that handle advanced technologies and operate critical infrastructure such as power facilities and railways, simulated responses to a ransomware attack, in which perpetrators demand a ransom in exchange for recovering access to data that has been blocked.

Ransomware cases have surged in recent years. Last October, an attack on Osaka General Medical Center’s electronic medical record system resulted in operations at the institution in Osaka City being suspended.

The MPD conducts the cybersecurity drill almost every year. It is the first time that the exercise dealt with ransomware.

On Monday, the MPD worked with security department officials from participating private businesses to confirm virus infection routes, the content of malicious files and response to damage. The exercise, slated to run until Feb. 9, will involve a total of some 550 people from about 130 businesses. The drill is being held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noting that this year’s summit of the Group of Seven major countries is approaching, Izumi Masaki, head of the MPD’s cyberattack response center, said, “There is a possibility of a cyberattack (hitting the summit), so we want to strengthen cooperation between the public and private sectors.”

The summit among the seven nations—Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States—plus the European Union is scheduled to take place in Hiroshima City on May 19-21.