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Japanese parliament is under cyber attack

Passwords and other data might have been stolen
Wed Nov 02 2011, 12:08

THE JAPANESE PARLIAMENT has come under cyber attack from a server in China, potentially resulting in losses of passwords and other sensitive information.

Deputy chief cabinet secretary Isao Saito revealed that the upper house of parliament had fallen victim to the same attack that struck the lower house last week, resulting in numerous malware-infected emails circulating on government machines, according to French news agency AFP.

Seven emails were found on upper house computers, but Saito claims that none of those computers have been infected or compromised, unlike computers in the lower house, where it is believed that passwords and other data were stolen using a trojan and sent to a server based in China.

The computers of a number of Japan's diplomatic missions to other countries have also been targeted recently, suggesting there has been a wide-scale attempt to pilfer information relating to Japanese diplomatic operations. If this is true then the country might need to look at other potential targets and ensure that their security is upgraded significantly to deal with the threat.

More worryingly, Japan's military was targeted recently, with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries revealing that a number of its computers and servers were infected with data-stealing malware in August, which might have resulted in warplane and nuclear plant information being stolen.

China is once again the primary suspect for these latest attacks on the Japanese parliament, but it is also possible that the China-based server was remotely controlled from a different country. China has been in the spotlight recently for the alleged hacking of US satellites, but it has denied any involvement. µ


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