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A Major Japanese Business Group Attacked by Chinese Hackers

The Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese national newspaper, reported that a Chinese group is suspected in the 2016 hacking of the computer system used by Keidanren, or the Japan Business Federation. Keidanren, a major Japanese business organization, consists of 1,281 companies, 129 industrial associations, and 47 regional economic organizations.

“The types of computer viruses used in the Keidanren attack as well as the external computer addresses to which information was secretly transmitted were very similar to those that turned up in a separate report” released in April 2017, compiled by the British defense company BAE Systems, the major consulting firm PwC, as well as the British National Cyber Security Center.

The Chinese hacking group is identified as Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) 10.

According to internal documents obtained by The Asahi Shimbun, in 2014, a Keidanren employee opened an email that had been sent to him with a virus. Consequently, malicious programs existed in communication systems and servers for two years, before an official announcement was made in November 2016 about the network break-in. The hackers could have read the information exchanged between Keidanren and the Japanese government, and then sent the information to overseas computers.

Keidanren’s computer system contained communications with government officials as well as a number of policy proposals.

While Tokyo is investigating this matter, in December, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked China to take measures against “APT 10.” China denied the allegation.

Source: Sputnik News, January 13, 3019