Japan will develop its first computer virus by next March as a defense against cyber attacks, sources said.
The Ministry of Defense is considering malware that can break into a computer system, hoping that such a virus can act as a deterrent against cyber attacks, sources said Monday.
The government has stated that it is seeking to improve its defense capabilities beyond land, sea and air domains to address security challenges in new areas such as cyberspace and outer space, among technological advances in recent years.
Japan is lagging behind other countries in facing the threat of cyber attacks. He plans to increase the number of employees in his cyber department to 220 from 150, compared to 6,200 in the United States, 7,000 in North Korea and 130,000 in China, according to the ministry.
The ministry considered specific measures against cyber attacks as it committed itself to strengthening cyberspace defense within the framework of the latest national defense guidelines launched last December.
Some defense experts say that an enemy's ability to hinder the use of cyberspace could exceed the limits of a country's exclusively defense-oriented policy.
The virus, which will be developed by private companies, will only be used for defensive purposes, not for a pre-emptive strike, a ministry source said. Government policy allows cyber attacks only against a country or an organization considered equivalent to a country.