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A Japanese government agency has been implicated in attempts to hack into a medical research institute in New Zealand.

Kiwi news service NZOOM cites security consultant Philip Whitmore from PricewaterhouseCoopers to support its allegations of state sponsored espionage against New Zealand's private sector.

Whitmore was reportedly called in to advise an unnamed Kiwi medical institute which was being probed in hacking attacks believed to have originated from South East Asia.

According to NZOOM, Whitmore attended an incident where a server containing sensitive information inside a Kiwi medical research institute was targeted in an unsuccessful attack which "originated from a Japanese government agency".

Quite what form this attack took isn't explained in the article, which goes off on a tangent about the "US-China" cyberwar.

The possibility that the "attack" may have been generated by a zombie agent on a Japanese government system or a server compromised by the Code Red worm isn't explored in the article. Anyone who has a firewall knows that probes and scans go on all the time, so leaping from a scan to "Japanese govt behind spy hacks" is quiet a leap.

Last week, a Centre for Critical Infrastructure Protection was set up in New Zealand and we're left wondering if the story is an attempt to give a sexy news hook. In the absence of more substantive evidence this would seem to be the case. ®

External links

NZOOM: Japanese govt behind spy hacks

Related stories

The Code Red hype Hall of Shame
CIA admits it can't keep up with 'commie' hackers
US China cyberwar is a self-fulfilling prophecy
Hackers worse than terrorists - Robin Cook

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