In an unprecedented move, Japan has announced that it will hack into internet-connected devices used by its citizens in an effort to create awareness for cyber security.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs said that the hacking would target up to 200 million IOT devices starting on Feb 20 and would not extend to personal computers or smartphones. The government is adopting a popular hacking method for the stunt, namely using a bot to try out a number of common passwords on devices until one sticks.
Among the passwords to be used are "admin," "password," "111111" and "123456." These passwords all appear on the internet’s most popular passwords lists compiled from leaked data by security application provider SplashData every year
. Everyone who thinks he or she might be subject to the hack would be well advised to take a look and reprogram their devices in time. If the government does manage to get into a device, the owners will be notified privately.
The Japanese government passed a law especially to be able to do the mass hack, saying the operation is part of the preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.