The fallout from a targeted attack on computers belonging to members of the Japanese House of Representatives continued on Tuesday, with claims that both servers and PCs on the House network were infected with a password stealing Trojan, and reports that House members had taken to storing sensitive government documents on personal PCs to avoid leaking sensitive information to the attackers.
According to Japanese media reports, the malware – which was sent as an attachment to members of the House of Representatives in July and August – has infected both servers and PCs on the government’s network. In one worrying sign, a lawmaker told reporters that she’s not so worried about the compromise, because she has taken to storing sensitive government documents on her personal computer.
Speaking to FNN News on Tuesday, Representative Mieko Tanaka said that she is using her personal computer to store sensitive work documents, so isn’t expecting much damage from the hack. Other representatives are doing the same, while the government is asking them to change the password they use to access government systems.
However, the Japanese government appears to be taking the threat of targeted cyber attacks seriously. The Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General is quoted in the article calling the cyber espionage a “national problem” and in need of more serious attention.
No information has been released on the source of the hacks on the Japanese government, though they are similar to attacks on U.S. lawmakers and government officials in Europe and Asia. They also follow news of a prominent attack against Japanese defense giant Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. An internal investigation of that incident revealed that sensitive data on weapons systems and the design of nuclear power plants may have been siphoned off from MHI by malware planted on systems running in the company’s headquarters and manufacturing sites.