US, Japan talk cooperation against ‘large-scale’ cyberattacks

US, Japan talk cooperation against ‘large-scale’ cyberattacks
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The United States and Japan said they recognize the need to cooperate against “large-scale” cyber threats, particularly those posed by botnets, at a recent bilateral meeting on cybersecurity. 

The meeting, which represented the fifth joint U.S.-Japan cyber dialogue, took place in Tokyo late last week and explored areas where the two countries can further deepen information-sharing and cooperation to protect against and respond to cyberattacks, according to a joint statement released by the State Department on Monday. 

In particular, officials from both countries discussed the need for cybersecurity cooperation between Japan’s National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prepare for the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. 

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In May, the Japanese government inked an agreement with DHS to join an information-sharing program called Automated Indicator Sharing that allows for the two-way exchange of cyber threat indicators. 

That followed the first official meeting between President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in February, during which the two leaders agreed to expand bilateral cybersecurity cooperation. 

The first discussions between U.S. and Japanese officials on cybersecurity cooperation took place in 2013.

Officials from both countries also recognized the threat posed by large-scale cyberattacks facilitated by botnets, or a network of infected internet-connected devices leveraged to execute distributed denial of service and other attacks. 

“Japan and the United States recognize that automated large-scale distributed cyber attacks, such as through botnets, may pose a significant threat to cyberspace, in particular in the context of increasing connectivity through the Internet of Things (IoT),” the joint statement read. 

“They intend to share approaches to enhancing resilience of the Internet, combating botnets, and to enhancing the cybersecurity of the IoT, in coordination with appropriate stakeholders.”

During the meeting in Tokyo on Thursday and Friday, officials also welcomed continued military cooperation between the two countries on cyber defense, which has taken place since 2013 through a joint cyber defense working group.