Flood control systems found vulnerable to hackers

A Japanese government survey has found cybersecurity holes in more than 50 computerized flood control systems used by local governments across the country.

The National center of Incident readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity says these systems are used to remotely monitor river levels and control floodgates.

They control floodgates on rivers that flow into lakes and operate emergency pumps for diverting rainwater runoff into rivers.

The center, better known as the NISC, says over 50 of these systems operated by 15 local governments lacked password protection to prevent unauthorized access.
This left them vulnerable to hacking attacks.

All the local governments concerned have fixed the problems after being alerted to them by NISC officials.

A senior official at the center, Tomoo Yamauchi, says government services are increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks because of the growing use of online systems. He says he believes that local officials may not fully understand the extent of the risk.

He says other flood control systems across the country may have more undetected security problems.

He says his group will continue working with telecom firms to eradicate security flaws.