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September 19, 2011

Hackers steal data from Japan’s defence contractor Mitsubishi

Crucial data is safe, claims Japan's largest defence contractor which also operates a nuclear fuel manufacturing plant  

By CBR Staff Writer

Japan’s defence contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Limited has disclosed that hackers have stolen data from its database after a hack attack, believed to be the first hack attack on Japan’s defence industry.

The company identified the hack attack on 11 August. Mitsubishi Heavy said that some information, including IP addresses, could have been stolen in the attack, but crucial data remains safe, the Reuters reported.

Another newspaper said that hackers have targeted the company’s submarine, missile and nuclear power plant component factories.

A Mitsubishi Heavy spokesman said, "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," he added.

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Heavy produces jet fighters, anti-submarine helicopters, develops civilian aircraft components, and also runs a nuclear fuel manufacturing plant. The company is Japan’s biggest defence contractor. Mitsubishi Heavy has also been working closely with Boeing, making key components for its jets.

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Earlier this year, US defence supplier Lockheed Martin admitted that its network was infiltrated by hackers.

Insisting that the attempt was thwarted before any critical data was stolen, the company termed the attack as "significant and tenacious."

According to the company, its information security team detected the attack almost immediately, and took aggressive actions to protect all systems and data.

Lockheed manufactures some of the most sophisticated US military hardware, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F-22 Raptor. It is also a major international supplier of military equipment.

Lockheed has tracked the security breach to the earlier data theft at security company EMC’s RSA division.

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