December 15, 2000
1. Goals of the Special Action Plan
The goal of this action plan is to protect the critical infrastructure from
attacks of cyber-terrorism, which have the potential for large impacts on people's
lives and on the economic activities of business using telecommunications networks
and information systems.
The government, primarily the Cabinet Secretariat, in close cooperation with the private sector, is working hard to implement this plan. In addition, as an objective of this plan, there are efforts to enhance the voluntary, independent participation by the businesses and regional public organizations associated with the critical infrastructure areas in the private sector (hereafter, called private sector critical infrastructure operators). Furthermore, the government will provide the necessary cooperation when the private sector critical infrastructure operators implement the plan.
2. The Threat of Cyber Terrorism
Many businesses and government activities have come to depend on information systems. It is also expected that there will be an acceleration in the use of information technologies and networking. For the critical infrastructure, like power supply, transportation, and electronic control, information systems also have a crucial role in maintaining public safety and stable supplies of indispensable services for the economic activities of business and the daily lives of the people.
An electronic attack using telecommunications networks and information systems (called a "cyber attack") on these important information systems that are fundamental to the critical infrastructure, has the potential to disrupt people's lives and business activities, as well as to cause large amounts of damage, placing people's lives at risk. This kind of attack, unlike a physical attack, can be made from a single computer by a person with the ability to intrude the information system. There is also the fear that systematic, large-scale attacks could be made for the purpose of causing disruption and confusion to business activities and people's lives.
Overseas, there have been cases of damage to financial information systems, and individuals known as hackers intruding critical information systems, denial-of-service attacks (DoS attack), as well as instances of large amounts of damage caused by the spread of computer viruses; so it is clear that this threat is already becoming a reality. The United States is developing a congressional plan to handle the threat of financial damage, confusion, injury or death caused by attacks on critical networks by terrorist groups or criminal organizations having advanced technical skills.
Connections via the Internet and other networks continue to develop, and interdependence increases. There is also increasing standardization and commonality in the specifications of information systems. These trends increase the threat of cyber attacks, even on information systems that currently face little danger from outside intrusion. In addition, there is always the possibility of such attacks being made by inside personnel. It must be recognized that even an information system that is not connected to any other networks is not immune to the danger of an outside attack.
3. Critical Infrastructure Fields
At the present time, the critical infrastructure fields that are considered likely to have the largest impact on financial activities and people's daily lives in the event of a cyber-terrorist attack are telecommunications, finance, aviation, railroads, electrical power, gas, and government/administrative services (including regional public organizations).
The ministries and agencies with jurisdiction over each of these critical infrastructure areas are making efforts to appropriately implement this plan for each of the areas.
In order to protect the critical infrastructure of Japan from the threat of cyber-terrorism it is also important for fields other than these critical infrastructure fields to refer to this special action plan and strengthen the countermeasures as needed.
4. Preventing Damage (Raising Security Level)
In order to prevent damage, risk analysis will be performed for the information systems of the target critical infrastructures, and measures will be implemented as needed according to the importance of the information system. It is also necessary to continually raise security level in each of the fields with critical infrastructure.
(1) Raising security level in private sector critical infrastructure fields
(2) Raising security level to establish electronic government
5. Establish and Enhance Communication and Coordination Systems between Government and the Private Sector
For the various critical infrastructure fields, it is necessary to establish and enhance systems for the government and private sector to coordinate prevention, response, and sharing of security data (data required to improve security) as well as warning information (information needed for emergency response and warnings, such as data on the occurrence of cyber attacks).
Particularly, as the threat of cyber terrorism grows, it is necessary to quickly establish a communication and coordination system between government and the private sector to handle cyber terrorism, and based on the situation in each field, it is necessary to develop the next level of systems, within one year of establishing this plan.
(1) Communication and coordination systems for private sector etc. critical
Build a communication and coordination system between operators associated with cyber-terrorism countermeasures, while making use of existing communication mechanisms, to fulfill the following roles.
(2) Communication and coordination systems with other critical infrastructure
In cases of interconnection to other information systems and operators of important infrastructure in other fields through networks, develop, as needed, the communication and cooperation systems for cyber-terrorism countermeasures.
(3) Establishing a communication and cooperation system for government
The government, centering on the Cabinet Secretariat, will fill the following roles in developing the communication and cooperation systems
(4) Handling of data
For the information collection and sharing, the appropriate data will be provided by the private sector etc. critical infrastructure groups. To achieve this, there must be efforts made to build a relationship of trust between all interested parties, such as obtaining a consensus on handling this data rigorously and correctly.
(5) Cooperation with private sector etc. critical infrastructure groups
The government will make efforts to cooperate with the private sector etc. critical infrastructure groups, including providing security and warning information.
6. Detection of Cyber Attacks and Emergency Response Through Government and Private Sector Cooperation
In addition to determining the measures to be taken for each of the critical infrastructure fields in the event of a cyber attack, or when there is a danger of such an attack, it is necessary to strengthen the response capabilities of the government and private sector overall.
(1) Detection of cyber attacks
(2) Establishing an emergency response plan
(3) Information and communication procedures during an emergency
(4) Strengthening the government's emergency response system
7. Establish Foundations of Information Security
Training of personnel, research and development, widespread application, and
appropriate laws and regulations on information security fundamentals is required
in order to further develop countermeasures to cyber terrorism.
To provide protection from cyber attacks on critical infrastructure, the operators and users of general information systems, not just those of the key systems, must be aware of the threat of cyber attacks, deepen their understanding of the need for security measures, and take the necessary security countermeasures so that there is a widespread general awareness and effort to handle this issue.
(1) Promote development of human resources
(2) Promote research and development
(3) Promote widespread application
(4) Add and revise legislation
8. International Cooperation
Cyber attacks can be made without regard for national boundaries, so international cooperation and coordination is required in order to handle such attacks.
9. Action Plan Revisions
This action plan is the first version, focused on establishing a means of communication and coordination between the government and the private sector. The government will periodically review and revise this plan as required, according to future progress and developments.