Feeds

Japanese govt sucked dry for TWO YEARS by Trojan

Nastie may have nicked meeting documents

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

The Japanese government has uncovered an advanced Trojan attack which may have lain undiscovered on its networks leaking confidential data for over two years.

The Finance Ministry told the local Kyodo news service that the first infection came in January 2010, with the most recent taking place in November 2011, after which the attacks apparently stopped.

However, the infections were only discovered last week as part of an on-going security audit of the ministry’s IT systems begun by a contracted firm in May.

So far, 2,000 machines have been checked and a disconcertingly high number – 123 – were found to be infected by Trojan, the report said.

The government is trying to play down the incident by claiming that confidential information such as taxpayers’ details has not been leaked, and that the infected computers belonged mainly to junior staff, although the malware may have accessed documents related to ministry meetings.

The report references hacktivists Anonymous, which last month launched denial of service attacks and web defacements of several government and political sites including the Finance Ministry, although this Trojan attack appears at first sight not quite to fit the MO of the group.

The Trojan was apparently undetected by the anti-virus software installed on the government PCs and lay undetected for a long period of time – hallmarks of a more sophisticated advanced persistent threat-style attack.

The ministry has yet to identify exactly how the PCs became infected and has replaced the hard disks on all affected computers, the report said.

Last October, a Trojan attack on the machines of several Japanese lawmakers was uncovered.

The data-stealing malware arrived as a dodgy attachment and caused hijacked machines to communicate with a server located in China. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.