THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
August 31, 2021 at 17:46 JST
A building housing the head office of Fujitsu Ltd. in Kawasaki. Fujitsu is involved in developing and managing government data networks. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Hackers who illegally accessed Fujitsu Ltd.’s information-sharing tool connected with government records earlier this year appear to have been seeking data related to the Tokyo Olympics and nuclear plants, according to government officials.
The attackers may have attempted to infiltrate a network containing important data about the government and the country’s infrastructure through the Fujitsu system, the officials told The Asahi Shimbun.
They said search history data from the attack reveals that the hackers sought information about the Olympics and nuclear power plants.
The unauthorized access to Fujitsu’s system, ProjectWEB, was revealed in May.
Seven government ministries and agencies, as well as government-affiliated organizations, including the land ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC), have acknowledged that their data shared on ProjectWEB was breached.
Fujitsu said its data breach was limited to information about equipment used in its information management system, meeting memos and records.
The company said it is not aware of leaks of any confidential in-house information about government ministries and agencies.
Still, it is possible that hackers could use the breached data as a foothold to ascertain the inner workings of the government’s information management system.
An official with the Cabinet Secretariat said the attack was intended to access confidential information about the Japanese government, rather than Fujitsu.
“The breached data might have included information that could lead to the computer systems of the government,” the official said.
The way the unauthorized access was gained suggests that Blacktech, a hacking group believed to be backed by the Chinese government, was involved in the infiltration, according cybersecurity experts.
Fujitsu is contracted by the central government to develop core computer government systems and important infrastructure, and manage their networks.
A Fujitsu representative declined to comment on further details of the attack.
The extent of the hacking remains unclear, along with when it began, as the investigation by the company is still ongoing.
(This article was written by Tatsuya Sudo, senior staff writer, and Hidemasa Yoshizawa.)
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