[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Hackers hit Japanese weapons firm Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries says attack targeted data on missiles, submarines and nuclear power plants.
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2011 12:07
The defence ministry has demanded Mitsubishi Heavy Industries carry out a full investigation [EPA]


Japan's top weapons maker has confirmed it was the victim of a cyber attack reportedly targeting data on missiles, submarines and nuclear power plants.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) confirmed on Tuesday that 45 of its servers and 38 computers were infected by at least eight viruses.

The government said they were not aware of any sensitive leaking of information from the attacks.

But the defence ministry has demanded MHI carry out a full investigation after learning of the breach from local media reports.

All government contractors are obliged to inform ministers promptly of any breach of sensitive or classified information.

"It's up to the defence ministry to decide whether or not the information is important. That is not for Mitsubishi Heavy to decide. A report should have been made," a defence ministry spokesman was earlier quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

MHI, which has built the US designed F-15 fighter jet and missile systems including Patriot batteries
under licence, said that computer systems had been accessed in August and some network information, such as IP addresses, may have been leaked.

Should MHI probe reveal the loss of sensitive data, the defence ministry could impose penalties on its main domestic arms supplier as under the terms of an agreement the government imposes on all contractors.

MHI had won 215 deals worth $3.4bn from the Japanese defence ministry in the year to last March.

Yasuo Ichikawa, the Japanese defence minister, said he had so far received no reports of classified information having been looted in the online assault. He did not say what information was at risk.

The online attacks - which are believed to be the first of their kind against Japan's defence industry - originated outside the company's computer network.

Emails containing viruses

A MHI spokesman declined to comment further on the first known cyber attack on Japan's defence industry, saying it aims to conclude an investigation by the end of September.

A second defence contractor, IHI, which supplies engine parts for military aircraft, said it had also been targeted.

IHI said it had been receiving emails containing viruses for months, but its security systems had prevented infection.

There are also reports that Japanese government websites, including the cabinet office and a video distribution service, have been hit by distributed denial-of-service attacks.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.