Mitsubishi Heavy Hacked

Monday, September 19, 2011 @ 12:09 PM gHale

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, the manufacturer of Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles, is under attack with hackers targeting the submarine, missile and nuclear power plant component factories.

Japan’s largest defense contractor said 45 servers and 38 PCs suffered infections with viruses at 10 facilities in Japan, including its submarine manufacturing plant in Kobe and a factory in central Japan that makes engine parts for missiles.

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The manufacturer makes weapons including surface-to-air Patriot missiles and AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missiles. Mitsubishi Heavy has also been working closely with Boeing, making wings for its 787 Dreamliner jets.

The incident, which comes amid a heightened focus on cyber warfare refers to a politically motivated hacking to conduct sabotage and espionage.

At a U.S. conference on cyber warfare, General Keith Alexander, the head of the U.S. Cyber Command, said cyber attacks were escalating from large-scale theft and disruption of computer operations to more lethal attacks that destroy systems and physical equipment.

“We’ve found out that some system information such as IP addresses have been leaked and that’s creepy enough,” said a Mitsubishi Heavy spokesman. “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 said.

At least eight different kinds of computer virus including a Trojan horse, which steals key information from infected computer hardware, were in Mitsubishi Heavy’s main office or production sites, a Yomiuri, Japan, newspaper reported.

The U.S has become extremely cautious about the cyber attacks and beginning September has pledged, along with Australia, to jointly thwart potential threats in cyberspace.

In addition to Australia, the U.S already has treaty ties with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand. The White House, earlier this year, released its strategy for preventing and countering attacks on cyberspace, calling for responding to hostile acts in that domain “as we would to any other threat to our country.”

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