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2011年9月22日 (木)

サイバー攻撃 防衛産業狙った“戦争行為”だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 22, 2011)
Cyber-attacks on defense contractor are 'acts of war'
サイバー攻撃 防衛産業狙った“戦争行為”だ(9月21日付・読売社説)

The recent cyber-attacks on a leading Japanese defense contactor must be taken extremely seriously.

About 80 servers and personal computers of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. were found to have been infected with computer viruses after being penetrated from outside the company.

The hacked machines were at MHI's 11 key manufacturing plants across the country, including factories that produce submarines, destroyers and nuclear power plants.

The viruses are considered dangerous because they are designed to remotely operate infected PCs from outside to steal information.

IHI Corp., another heavy electric machinery maker, has suffered similar cyber-attacks.


A national security threat

At present, there has been no confirmation that MHI's product information has been leaked. But if defense secrets are stolen, it will have a grave impact on public safety and national security.

After being contacted by MHI, the Metropolitan Police Department has launched an investigation into the incident as a case of suspected espionage.

All-out efforts must be made to identify the perpetrator or perpetrators.

There is a high possibility the attacks on MHI were launched overseas.

The records of the infected servers showed they were connected with Web sites in China and Hong Kong.

An analysis of the viruses showed text in Chinese appeared on a screen for a hacker to remotely control the infected PCs.

When the National Police Agency Web site was inundated with a massive amount of data last September and July this year, 90 percent of the data was found to have originated in China.

Cyber-attacks on government organizations and businesses have occurred frequently in recent years.

The United States unveiled a policy in July that would allow the country to take rigorous measures against cyber-attacks, which it considers acts of war.

It is urgent to build an international system for jointly investigating cyber-attacks.


International cooperation network

The United States and major European nations have signed the Convention on Cybercrime to cooperate in such fields as the provision of investigative information.

In June, Japan at long last finished the domestic legal process needed to join the pact.

To deter cyber-attacks, it is crucial that affected parties share information about the damage incurred and use this data so damage can be prevented from expanding and security measures can be improved.

Questions have been raised about why MHI did not report the virus infection to the Defense Ministry immediately after it realized in mid-August that it had been attacked.

If information about contracts for equipment involving defense secrets is thought to have been leaked, contractors are required to inform the ministry immediately.

How will the government offices concerned--including the Defense Ministry, the NPA and the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry--handle this case in which companies involved in defense and advanced technologies are targeted by cyber-attacks?

Their systems for working together need to be reexamined and strengthened.

In August, the NPA and 4,000 domestic firms inaugurated a network system to share information on cyber-attacks.

The public and private sectors should bolster their cooperation in such fields as fostering personnel with the skills to combat computer viruses.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 21, 2011)
(2011年9月21日01時27分  読売新聞)


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