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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Damage from Unauthorized Computer Access Reported as High
  • October 30, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Reported cases of unauthorized computer system access in Japan reached a record high in the July-September quarter, according to the Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center (JPCERT/CC).
    JPCERT/CC published its summary report of damages caused by unauthorized computer access during the three-month period. The reported incidents totaled 299 (at 3,266 sites), or 100 incidents more than the previous record high number.

    JPCERT/CC is an independent organization that responds to computer security breaches in business firms via the Internet.

    According to JCERT/CC, "port scan" was highly prevalent. Port scan attacks involve trying to find security vulnerability in applications by accessing servers.

    The instigator uses a special automatic tool to scan port numbers of the target server one by one to find security weaknesses. A port number is an identifier to co-relate network data with an application. Attacked sites amounted to 3,102 in the latest survey, while only about 100 sites reported such attacks in the previous surveys. The number of such attacks stayed at about the same level in October.

    JCERT/CC issued a special report on Oct. 2. The survey of JCERT/CC revealed that a total of 3,037 sites of companies and organizations were attacked by the port scan method from late June to late September.

    The port scan method can be used to attack any entities regardless of size. Port scan incidents increased suddenly after June because an automatic tool was made public on a Web page. That page also distributed a document that described how to attack a Japanese domain (.jp).

    Port scan tries to search for security vulnerability and does not necessarily intrude. JCERT/CC said, "Safety is ensured by using the latest version of server software and closing applications when not in use."

    Related story: Unauthorized Computer Access Nears Historical High in Japan

    (Nikkei Computer)

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    Updated: Thu Oct 29 17:59:22 1998 PDT