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Japan Inc battles cybercriminals with 'white hat' hackers on its side

From Sony to Line, companies pay bounties to keep attackers at bay

The new strategy for Japanese companies depends on "white hat," or ethical, hackers hired through security startups. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

TOKYO -- More companies and research institutions in Japan are doing their best to attract hackers from around the world, setting them loose on their own websites and digital services as a defense against malware-armed attackers who have gained the upper hand in the ongoing cybersecurity war.

The new strategy -- offer bounties before being hit up for ransom -- banks on so-called "white hat," or ethical, hackers who can be hired through security startups.

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