Late last month, Japanese defense contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries revealed that it had fallen victim to a cyberattack. As details continue to emerge, it appears as though data related to military jets and nuclear power plants may have been leaked.
According to the Daily Yomiuri, approximately 80 MHI servers and computers may have been affected in last month’s data security breach. Among the compromised infrastructure were several machines involved in the development of submarines, missiles and nuclear power plants.
Company officials told the Yomiuri that the incident occurred as a result of a targeted, Trojan horse attack as opposed to internal improprieties. At the time, MHI also suggested that some data files may have been stolen in the attack, although investigators were not yet certain.
Speculation has now been confirmed.
According to InformationWeek, sources close to the Japanese defense ministry are suggesting that although data relating to confidential national security matters had not been breached, some private information was stolen in the cyberattack. As more information comes to light, many are beginning to think something quite sinister is in the works.
Earlier in the month, the email addresses for executives at MHI and Kawasaki Heavy Industries were acquired by hackers. According to InformationWeek, the information was likely gathered as a result of a cyberattack directed at the Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies earlier in the year.
Additionally, MHI was compelled to file a report with Tokyo police even before the revelation of its noteworthy data breach. According to InformationWeek, the company was persistently targeted by hackers throughout the summer, reporting data security issues at nearly a dozen separate facilities.
Rumors that the attack came from a Chinese IP address flared political tensions, and new reports of a separate cyberattack on the Japanese public sector are giving credence to that line of reasoning.
According to the New York Times, several computer systems within Japanese Parliament have become infected with viruses. Details remain scarce, but the personal computers of three legislators and possibly a server were targeted, potentially compromising log-in information and emails. And although Chinese officials continued to deny any involvement, media outlets have suggested that simplified Chinese characters were identified in the shorthand coding responsible for earlier attacks.
As cybercriminals become more brazen in their methods and motivations, cybersecurity administrators across all sectors may be wise to seek out the insight and best practices adopted by their colleagues.
Data Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro