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Japan slams alleged China-based hackers after cyberattacks on government, firms and colleges

Kyodo

Japan on Friday criticized an alleged China-based hacking group over cyberattacks targeting its government, companies and academic institutions and urged Beijing to take “responsible” actions.

Takeshi Osuga, the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s press secretary, said in a statement, “All the (Group of 20) members, including China, have affirmed their commitment to the prohibition of (information and communication technology) enabled theft of intellectual property, and are required to take responsible actions as a member of the international community.”

“Japan has identified continuous attacks by the group known as APT10 to various domestic targets … and expresses resolute condemnation of such attacks,” Osuga said.

The rebuke came as the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday two Chinese nationals were indicted over alleged state-sponsored hacking targeting government agencies and companies in the United States, Japan, U.K. and other countries.

The two were identified as members of the group known within the cybersecurity community as Advanced Persistent Threat 10 and acted in association with the Chinese Ministry of State Security’s Tianjin State Security Bureau, according to the department.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the top government spokesman, said Tokyo has identified “prolonged and wide-ranging” cyberattacks by the APT10 group to the government and other institutions. But he declined to reveal any reports of damage for fear of disclosing Japan’s ability to counter such attacks.

“Japan will continue to closely cooperate with the international community and make efforts in order to ensure a free, fair and secure cyberspace,” Osuga said in the statement, adding that the government will “issue an alert to call upon adequate domestic cybersecurity measures.”