Japanese aerospace company Kawasaki reports data breach

A major aerospace company in Japan is alerting the public to a data breach. Kawasaki Heavy Industries Aerospace Co. is a large division that produces aircraft and space exploration components (including weaponry like missiles) for governmental use. It is just the latest company or organization to face a cyberattack in a year filled with these types of incidents. The data breach was reported via a press release from Kawasaki’s Tokyo office (PDF version here) that is dated December 29, 2020.

According to the press release, the actual breach occurred around June 11, 2020, and since then the company has been dealing with the aftermath. Below is an excerpt from Kawasaki’s report that explains the situation:

On June 11, 2020, an internal system audit revealed a connection to a server in Japan from an overseas office (Thailand) that should not have occurred. Within the same day, communication between the overseas office and our Japan office was fully terminated considering as a case of unauthorized access. However, other unauthorized accesses to servers in Japan from other overseas sites (Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States) were subsequently discovered. We have therefore enhanced monitoring operations to accesses from overseas offices and tightened access restrictions to block unauthorized accesses. Since then, we have continued to strengthen company-wide security measures.

The press release goes on to state that Kawasaki was unable to find the culprit during its investigation. Apparently, the technology used was state-of-the-art, which would either point to highly capable threat actors with large funding. This could be a hacking collective or state-response source. At this time, however, it would be mere speculation.

Kawasaki has handed the investigation over to an unnamed third-party group and has also created the “Cyber Security Group” that will combat future breaches like this. The company does not believe that any personal information has been given to external parties, but as is the case in any data breach, this information is subject to change. Kawasaki Heavy Industries Aerospace Co. has confirmed that they are in communication with anyone affected personally by this data breach.

Featured image: Wikimedia

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