Japanese singer and actress Rie Kitahara has appeared on behalf of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department in a public awareness campaign against cybercrime including crypto fraud.

Kitahara, well known in Japan as a singer in girl idol group Ngt48 and ex-band member of Akb48 and Ske48, took on the role of cybersecurity manager in a police department event in Tokyo. Some 1,700 guests attended the event last week which mainly focused on email phishing and fake websites. Ashai TV, who broadcast the event commented:

“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.”

The World Economic Forum has warned that cybercrime is one of the major risks in 2018 due to the rate of technological advancement worldwide. Its report, published earlier this year, indicated that the main reason for the increase is due to growing cyber dependency which has added to the volumes of data theft over time.

A chief security scientist has suggested that companies are slow on updating systems as new technologies arrive on the scene. Due to this, eight global economies, the USA, Germany, Estonia, Japan, Holland, Switzerland, Singapore and Malaysia all see cyber-attacks as a major threat

In terms of cryptocurrency trading, the Council of Anti-Phishing Japan has issued its own warnings regarding the use of email in particular, commenting, “We are working to raise awareness of the public not to immediately click the URLs indicated in the email.” It added that recipients should contact a legitimate crypto exchange employee before opening mail.

Reports suggest that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has been cooperating with ten of the country’s largest crypto exchanges; SBI Virtual Currencies, Bitflyer, Bitpoint Japan, GMO Coin, Bittrade, Quoine, Bitbank, Btc Box, Money Partners and Coincheck.

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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