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Japan declines to comment on UK claims of Russian cyber-attacks on Olympics

Japan has declined to comment on allegations by the United Kingdom that Russia launched cyberattacks to disrupt the now-postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"We know about this report of the British side," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said. "The Japanese government is collecting the respective information; however, we would like to refrain from any comments on this issue."

Kato said Japan would take all the necessary measures to protect the Summer Olympics from cyberattacks.

The British Foreign Office claimed on Monday that Russiaís GRU military intelligence agency had conducted "cyber reconnaissance" against officials and organizations involved in the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games before they were postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They allegedly targeted the Gamesí organizers, logistics services, and sponsors.

Russia has rejected the hacking accusations.

Olympics officials said they had taken a range of countermeasures against digital attacks but did not give details, citing security concerns.

"While we have constantly monitored various types of cyberattack on the digital platforms owned by Tokyo 2020, no significant impact has been observed in our operations," the organizing committee said in a statement.

Olympics sponsor Panasonic Corp also said in a statement that, "We did not detect any evidence of an attack."

The UKís allegations came as the United States charged six Russian military intelligence officers with carrying out cyberattacks on targets including Ukraineís power grid, the 2017 French elections, and the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.

Lee Hee-beom, the former president and CEO of the Pyeongchang organizing committee, said he was unaware of who had been responsible for the attack until now.

"There was a hacking on the opening day but we could not confirm its source," Lee told AFP. "Internet connection was lost right after the ceremony from the hacking and we had to mobilize experts to restore it all night. Until now, I did not know who had done it."

The Russian Embassy in Washington dismissed the US charges, saying they were aimed at a domestic audience.

"Itís absolutely clear that such stories have nothing to do with reality and are only aimed at fueling Russophobic sentiment, a ‘witch hunt,í and a spy mania in the US. This has been a distinctive feature of Washingtonís political life for several years already," the Russian embassy told the RIA Novosti news agency on Tuesday.

The embassy also described the new allegations as another blow to the Russia-US relations, stressing that it was not in Russiaís national interests to conduct such attacks.

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/20913


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