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China suspected of hacking Japanese parliament

Business & GovernmentNews
, 02 Nov 2011News

Japan's parliament has been hacked by a group thought to have links with China, stealing passwords and security information.

The hack originated from a server in China, suggesting some link with the communist country - although hackers are notorious for performing attacks from remote locations to obscure their true location.

The lower house of Japan's parliament was the subject of an attack last week, resulting in passwords and security information being stolen. Now, it seems, the same perpetrators are back with a concerted effort against Japan's upper house.

News of the second attack was announced by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Isao Saito, who reported: "The upper house office has confirmed that seven suspicious emails, the same ones that were sent to the lower house, were found."

It is not yet known what, if any information, has been stolen in the second attack.

The two major hacks follow a spate of security breaches within Japan's political class. Over the last month, local media has reported that several politicians' machines as well as other government systems had been hit by Trojans.

There have also been reported attacks on defence contractor Mitsubishi - though again, little information is available as to what, if any, information has been taken.

If evidence is uncovered out that attacks coming from China are state-sponsored, it would increase political tension, in the wake of international efforts to clamp down on cyber-crime being discussed at the London Conference on Cyberspace this week. This week, a detailed report from security firm Symantec linked the Far Eastern state to attacks that targeted US and UK chemical companies.

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