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Japan cancels national hacking contest

Source: business.boston.com
Date: July 28, 2003

Stop Cyber Crime TOKYO -- Japan canceled a national computer-hacking contest scheduled for next month after the government came under fire as encouraging cybercrime, a government official said Friday.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry had planned the Aug. 11-12 contest as a way of fostering computer expertise among high school and vocational college students. Teams of up to three students would have tried to hack into opponents' computer systems, while protecting their own.

But after receiving a flood of angry phone calls and mail, the ministry decided to scrap the "Security Koshien" -- a reference to the stadium where national high school baseball tournaments are held -- ministry spokesman Takashi Kume said.

The ministry had said the contest was devised in response to growing concerns over computer security. Although the computers would have used Windows 2000 software, competitors could have drawn on other operating systems, such as Linux.

Under Japanese law, computer users convicted of hacking into computer systems or downloading files without authorization face up to 1 year in prison or a fine of 500,000 yen ($4,200).

Original article: http://business.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2003/07/27/japan_cancels_national_hacking_contest

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