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Warning of Data Breach by Japanese Aerospace Firm Kawasaki!

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Japanese aerospace company Kawasaki Heavy Industries on Mon. warned of a security incident that may have led to unauthorised access of customer data.

The Japanese aerospace manufacturer explained that starting in June, overseas unauthorised access to its servers may have compromised customer data.

According to the company’s data breach notification, it 1st discovered unauthorised parties accessing a server in Japan, from an overseas office in Thailand, on June 11, 2020.

Other Incidents

After terminating that access, the company throughout the following days in June discovered several other incidents of unauthorised access. Kawasaki explained that these stemmed from other overseas sites in Indonesia, the Philippines, & the US.

While Kawasaki observed that “some information from overseas offices may have been leaked to external parties,” the company has not yet found evidence of leaking information to the external network. However, the company commented it is currently contacting customers who may have been affected by the unauthorised access.

Advanced Technology

“Because Kawasaki handles important sensitive information such as personal information & social infrastructure-related information, information security measures have been a top priority for the company,” observed the company’s data breach notice, posted on its website [PDF]. “However, the unauthorised access in question had been carried out with advanced technology that did not leave a trace.”

The multinational corporation primarily manufactures motorcycles, engines, heavy equipment, aerospace & defence equipment, rolling stock & ships. This includes production involvement for various aerospace equipment such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft & the International Space Station Kibo, for example.

Manufacturing Processes

The company has also developed various manufacturing processes, used by various industrial plants for crushing raw materials (like limestone & clay) & burning & manufacturing cement.

Kawasaki has at least 34,000 employees across Japan, Asia, the America’s & Europe, as well as various subsidiaries, including Kawasaki Heavy Industries Motorcycle.

Further details of the specific data that is potentially at risk, & further information of the unauthorised accesses themselves, were not disclosed.

Discovered

While the incident was 1st discovered in Jun., “due to the fact that the scope of unauthorised access spanned multiple domestic & overseas offices, it took a considerable amount of time until the company can formally announce the incident,” according to the company.

Following an unauthorised access from an overseas office in the US, on July 8, Kawasaki added “additional restriction” to all overseas network connections. It then conducted a “security soundness” inspection of 26,000 terminals for its Japan & Thailand network connections.

In Oct., the company confirmed via network monitoring that no further unauthorised access to the Japan office occurred after Aug.

Monitoring Operations

“We have therefore enhanced monitoring operations to accesses from overseas offices and tightened access restrictions to block unauthorised accesses,” according to the company. “Since then, we have continued to strengthen company-wide security measures.”

In another security incident, Kawasaki warned that it has received reports of people receiving fraudulent emails. The messages pretended to be from recruiters from Kawasaki Heavy Industries Group in the US.

Sender’s Identity

“Should you unexpectedly receive any such emails, please thoroughly confirm the sender’s identity before deciding to respond,” stated the company on its website.

“There is risk of your personal information being obtained & misused if you reply to these emails or open any attached files. These emails may also be infected with computer viruses; therefore, we ask you to be especially cautious.”

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