Japan government admits that Mitsubishi Electric data leaked

Japan government admits that Mitsubishi Electric data leaked
# 26 December 2021 10:36 (UTC +04:00)

The Defense Ministry admitted that a hack on Mitsubishi Electric Corp. in June 2019 compromised data that was the first publicly acknowledged leak of sensitive national security information in Japan, APA reports citing USA Today.

Nearly 20,000 files were accessed by the ministry, which released its findings on December 24 in its investigation of the 59 cases. It added that it has taken measures to address sabotage of this nature and issued a verbal warning to Mitsubishi Electric, a leading electronics equipment maker, deeply involved in defense, infrastructure and transportation projects.

The company was recently in the news for sloppy testing of various equipment that resulted in disciplinary action against 12 current and former executives.

Asahi Shimbun broke the January 2020 report on the cyberattack, and Mitsubishi Electric officials suspected a Chinese hacking group. The Defense Ministry acknowledged that the incident involved three cases of a sensitive nature related to defense equipment.

The ministry disclosed in its latest revelation that nearly 20,000 leaked data files contained defense related information.

The leak of 59 of those data files had a serious impact on national security. It refused to reveal the specific contents of the data files on the grounds that they contained sensitive information.

A Cabinet Secretariat source said that this is the first case where authorities have publicly acknowledged a leak by hackers of information regarding threats to national security.

Mitsubishi Electric has close relationship with the Defense Ministry, and is contracted to work on projects worth around 100 billion yen $874 million a year. The company has been involved in the manufacture and development of specialized radar equipment as well as research and development of such equipment.

Defense Ministry officials said they instructed Mitsubishi Electric to be more vigilant in its handling and protection of defense related information.

Three of the 59 cases of deficient handling of information were warned by company officials. In those three cases, only a paper trail should have been left, but the company inexplicably inputted the information into its computer system, making it vulnerable to hackers.