Malware was found on a number of 123 computers in the network of Japan’s Finance Ministry after a security audit, with experts having reasons to believe that the machines have been infected almost two years ago.
The ministry claims that no confidential data belonging to tax payers has been exposed. The infected computers belong to junior officials, who have not access to sensitive data, the ministry says.
There is still unknown who is standing behind the attack, with some sources saying that it could be the hacking group Anonymous.
About 2,000 computers were checked during the security audit.
“Clearly all government departments, military contractors and businesses need to understand that they could potentially be on somebody’s target list,” commented a researcher at Sophos digital security firm.
Various computer systems belonging to the Japanese authorities, including the Parliament and some local governments, have been targeted by hackers during the last months. Computers belonging to Japan have been attacked at embassies and consulates in nine countries last summer.