Defense info possibly leaked in cyberattack on Mitsubishi Electric

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Some 20,000 pieces of information related to Japan’s defense may have been leaked in the January 2020 large-scale cyberattack on Mitsubishi Electric Corp., the Defense Ministry said Friday.

They included 59 pieces with the potential to affect the country’s national security, according to the ministry.

The ministry said it will demand the company tighten information management and will review its information security standards for the defense industry, in a bid to prevent similar incidents.

Mitsubishi Electric manufactures radars, guided missiles and other defense equipment. In fiscal 2020, the ministry’s procurement from the company totaled about ¥80 billion.

Among the possibly leaked information pieces, the company had made an unauthorized electronic copy of a document on high-speed missiles, according to the ministry.

The ministry said it has taken necessary preservative measures on the affected information. It revealed a plan to require about 250 companies that develop and manage defense equipment for Japan to meet as high standards on information management as the U.S. military’s.

Mitsubishi Electric said Friday that it deeply apologizes again for the incident, and that it will work to strengthen its information security measures while complying with ministry-set rules.