Japanese Government to Hire Hackers to Fight Cyberattacks

May 20, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. cyberattack /ˈsaɪ bər əˌtæk/ (n.) – an attempt to access a system (computer, network, etc.) without permission
Example: A cyberattack poses great danger to the computer system.

2. vulnerability / ˌvʌlnərəˈbɪləti / (n.) – a weakness; the state of being easily harmed
Example: We must make sure that our security system has no vulnerability.

3. exploit / ˈekˈsplɔɪt / (v.) – to take advantage of a person or a situation
Example: The hacker exploited the weakness of the website.

4. malicious / məˈlɪʃəs / (adj.) – having the desire to harm others
Example: The agency is trying to identify some malicious hackers.

5. fiscal year / ˈfɪs kəl yɪər / (n.) – a period of 12 months during which a government or company computes its earnings and expenses
Example: The fiscal year in Japan starts on April 1 and ends on March 31 of the next year.


Read the text below.
The Japanese government plans to hire a team of white hat hackers to help deal with the increasing number of cyberattacks against the country.

White hat hackers are computer security specialists who ensure the safety of an institution’s information system, which may contain sensitive and confidential data. With the permission of the company or the organization that hired them, these hackers use their skills to find the system’s vulnerabilities. Unlike malicious hackers who exploit these weaknesses, white hat hackers use them to improve the security of the system.

Cyberattacks against Japan have been on an upward trend. The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) reported that the Japanese government and other institutions recorded more than 25 billion cyberattacks in 2014, as compared with the 310 million attempts recorded in 2005.

A large percentage of these attacks were from other countries, 40% of which came from China, South Korea, Russia, and the United States. According to an official report, many of the attacks intended to take control of Japan’s routers and security cameras.  

To strengthen its measures against cyberattacks, Japan established the National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NCIRSC). This institution will be the headquarters of white hat hackers tasked to counter all cyberattacks against the country.  The NCIRSC started accepting applications from hackers in January. It expects the number of employees to go beyond 100 within the next fiscal year

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think hiring hackers to help fight cyberattacks is a good move? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, what else can Japan do to ensure cybersecurity?

Discussion B

·         Why is cybersecurity important?
·         How should malicious hackers be punished?

May 20, 2015