Hackers Breach Japanese Defense Contractor Mitsubishi
September 19, 2011

Hackers Breach Japanese Defense Contractor Mitsubishi


Japanese defense contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries claims in the Yomiuri, a Japanese newspaper, that hackers have gained access to its computer systems but it is not known at this time if any data has been stolen.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries builds guided missiles, rocket engines, submarines and nuclear-power equipment for the Japanese government.

A Mitsubishi spokesman told Reuters: “We´ve found out that some system information such as IP addresses have been leaked and that´s creepy enough. We can´t rule out small possibilities of further information leakage but so far crucial data about our products or technologies have been kept safe.”

Eighty virus-infected computers were found at Mitsubishi´s Tokyo headquarters as well as manufacturing and research and development sites on August 11 and there were suggestions at the time that those attacks had originated in China, the Wall Street Journal reports

The affected manufacturing sites include Kobe shipyard, which currently builds submarines and makes components to build nuclear power stations. The Nagasaki shipyard makes escort ships and the Nagoya plant makes guided missiles and rocket engines.

“It´s probably just the first that hacking attacks in Japan have been detected. It´s consistent with what we´ve seen already with big American defense companies,” Andrew Davies, a cyber-warfare analyst with the government backed Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told Reuters.

“The Japanese make large conventional submarines that are among the world´s most sophisticated ... (they) have very nicely integrated solutions with their own mechanical, electronic and control systems, so it a pretty attractive hacking proposition, to get the design of a Japanese submarine,” he added.

Several kinds of computer viruses were found during a security audit including a Trojan horse virus, which steals key information from infected computer hardware, the Yomiuri said.

Mitsubishi is the country´s largest defense contractor with known contracts worth $3.4 billion from Japan´s Ministry of Defense in the year to last March, or nearly a quarter of the ministry´s spending.


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