Thursday, August 30, 2018

Japanese Actress Helps Tokyo Police Raise Crypto Cybersecurity Awareness


A Japanese actress and singer has helped the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department raise awareness on cybersecurity issues, including cryptocurrencies. She reportedly took on the role of a cybersecurity manager in an event hosted by the department where participants learned about cybercrime countermeasures.

Rie Kitahara.Japanese actress and singer Rie Kitahara, formerly associated with the idol girl group Ngt48 and former member of Akb48 and Ske48, has helped the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department raise awareness of cybersecurity issues, including those related to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to local media.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, Shinjuku Ward, hosted an event on August 26, where Kitahara tried to educate participants about measures against cybercrime. She assumed the role of the department's cybersecurity measure manager for the day.

Approximately 1,700 guests, parents and their children attended. They learned about email phishing and fake websites that try to steal personal information and how to protect themselves from these security threats. Asahi TV described:

Participants learned about the importance of countermeasures, such as a PC hijacking simulation experience and quizzes on cybersecurity. Last year, the number of cases with cybercrime victims reported to the Metropolitan Police Department was 13,101 which has been decreasing overall, but the damage of unauthorized access to [steal] virtual currencies such as bitcoin is increasing.

Japanese Phishing Emails on the Rise
In January, crypto exchange Coincheck was hacked and 58 billion yen (~US$522 million) worth of the cryptocurrency NEM was stolen. It was later revealed that the hack may have resulted from emails sent to the exchange's employees to spread viruses.

In July, reported that the number of cases involving phishing emails in the Japanese language rose to at least 1,500 last fall.

The Council of Anti-Phishing Japan has issued warnings regarding cryptocurrency phishing several times. "We are working to raise awareness of the public not to immediately click the URLs indicated in the email," Kaori Uemura, a spokeswoman for the council, told She added that recipients should reach out to a legitimate contact at the crypto exchange supposedly sent the email to verify its authenticity.

Cooperating with Crypto Exchanges
In order to fight crypto-related cybercrime, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has been cooperating with ten of the country's largest crypto exchanges. They are SBI Virtual Currencies, Bitflyer, Bitpoint Japan, GMO Coin, Bittrade, Quoine, Bitbank, Btc Box, Money Partners and Coincheck.

According to App Times, the exchanges have agreed to "mutual cooperation, cybercrime reporting notification, criminal investigation cooperation, information sharing, [and] measures to prevent widespread damage."

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