Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, Japan's largest defense contractor, has been a victim of a cyber attack, according to a report from the company. The company said attackers had gained access to company computer systems, with some reports saying the attacks targeted its submarine, missile and nuclear power plant component businesses.
"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," a Mitsubishi Heavy spokesman told Reuters. "We've found out that some system information such as IP addresses have been leaked and that's creepy enough," the spokesman added.
According to The Yomiuri newspaper, approximately 80 systems had been infected with malware at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, as well as manufacturing and research and development sites, including Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works, Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works and Nagoya Guidance & Propulsion System Works. A company spokesperson told SecurityWeek that 45 servers and 38 PCs in MHI's production plants and offices (more than 10) were infected.
The company reportedly first noticed the cyber attack on August 11th.
"It's probably just the first that hacking attacks in Japan have been detected. It's consistent with what we've seen already with big American defense companies," Andrew Davies, a cyber-warfare analyst with the government backed defense think-tank, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told Reuters.
The company manufactures many weapons systems and aircraft including Patriot missiles, under license from Raytheon, F-15J Fighter Jets, under license from Boeing, and several other guided weapons systems.
While some have speculated that China may behind the attacks, the company told SecurityWeek that, at present, they have no clues as to who was behind the attacks. The company is expected to release additional information and an updated statement following further investigation.