Hackers may have been spying on the e-mails of lawmakers in Japan’s lower house of parliament for a month, according to reports by the Japanese press.
The computer network of the lawmakers was infected with a virus in July and passwords were stolen, giving hackers access to the e-mail system. Information related to foreign and defence policies may have been exposed, a source close to the matter said, quoted by the Asahi newspaper.
An inquiry showed that the virus which infected the network later connected to servers in China, but it is difficult to find out who exactly placed it there, as it could have been accessed by anyone, the source said.
The incident comes close after a similar attack which targeted the network of Japan’s largest military contractor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. Mitsubishi's computer network was severely attacked in August. About 45 servers and 38 computers were infected with more than 50 types of viruses at 11 locations in Japan, including a plant that builds missiles and aircraft engines. Recent reports say that information on military aircraft may have been stolen.
The latest incidents are putting an increased pressure on the government to improve cyber security.