Foreign Policy l Japanese military contractor hacked


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a Japanese military contractor, confirmed today that a hacking incident from this past August released confidential information regarding classified warplanes and nuclear power plants.

The Asahi Shimbun reported:

“Sensitive information concerning vital defense equipment, such as fighter jets, as well as nuclear power plant design and safety plans, apparently was stolen from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. computers during a cyber-attack in August, sources said.
An internal investigation found signs that the information had been transmitted outside the company’s computer network, with the strong possibility that an outsider was involved.
This is the first time that sources have acknowledged that defense and nuclear plant information may have leaked from Mitsubishi Heavy’s computers due to a computer virus, despite the company saying it had taken appropriate safeguard measures.
The computers were found to have been hacked in August, and 83 computers were found to have been infected with a virus. Those computers were spread out over 11 locations, including the Kobe and Nagasaki shipyards that construct submarines and destroyers as well as the Nagoya facility that is in charge of manufacturing a guided missile system.”

As Asahi Shimbun reported in September, some of Mitsubishi’s contracts include the American made F-15 fighter, the Patriot Missile Defense system and the AIM-7 Air to Air missiles, all of which are used by the Pentagon in its operations. Mitsubishi is also involved in the construction of nuclear power plants primarily within Japan, but has been looking to expand to emerging markets such as Vietnam.

Last week, FP’s Blake Hounshell reported on the emergence of Duqu, the successor to the Stuxnet virus that crippled Iranian nuclear centrifuges last year. The Duqu worm was designed primarily to steal technical documents, especially to those relating to nuclear power plants and industrial controls systems by masquerading as an image file. Security experts have warned of a similar “Stuxnet 2” attack since Duqu was discovered.

Kedar Pavgi
Monday, October 24, 2011
Foreign Policy l Japanese military contractor hacked

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