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Mitsubishi Hack Stole Nuclear, Defense Data 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the nothing-important-just-some-stuff dept.
judgecorp writes "When Mitsubishi announced in September it had been hacked in August it was criticized for keeping quiet for a month. Now it appears that the attackers got nuclear power plant and military aircraft details according to sources quoted in the Japanese media."
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Mitsubishi Hack Stole Nuclear, Defense Data

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know much about military stuff, but "Nuclear power plant design and safety plans" probably aren't all that secret or even very interesting. Pressurized Water Reactors aren't exactly cutting edge technology and stealing their plans doesn't really enable you to do anything you couldn't otherwise do.
    • by meow27 (1526173)
      Mitsubishi has plans for making the f-16 and the f4-phantom from the united states. they have legal liscenses for this.

      chances are, they also have the plans for the f-35. and if thats the case.... well dont expect america's allys to have the edge against their adversaries.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        well dont expect america's allys to have the edge against their adversaries

        Don't worry, I'm pretty sure we'll continue to have the edge against third-world dirt farms that pose no threat whatsoever to our nation's security.

        • From here it looks like attacking third world dirt farms seems to have caused us at least as much harm as it has them. I'd say it's a draw at best.

        • Not to mention that most, if not all, attacks against Your country were so low tech in their conception and execution that they could be attributed to another geologic era...

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        The f-35 for export? The US is gifting stealth, agile antennae technologies and the engine to make the deal.
        Interesting how the US got Japan to drop the Eurofighter Typhoon :)
    • by AzariahK (1990690)
      Yeah, but it could save you the cost of developing it for yourself. It's a long way from a wikipedia article on a reactor to a floor plan.
    • If there goal was to make a reactor, you're right, those plans would be useless. If their goal were to attack an existing reactor, the plans become a lot more useful.
      • Re:Yawn... (Score:4, Informative)

        by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @11:35PM (#37840640)
        The target area is only two meters wide. It's a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. A precise hit will start a chain reaction which should destroy the station. Only a precise hit will set up a chain reaction.
      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        the opposite is true.

        engineering diagrams are unlikely to include security systems, deployments or proceedures.

        anyone looking to build a reactor could sure use a complete set of plans to save a lot of money on design and testing, espeicially if they can examine public records on the real world performance of the design they stole to confirm before the first shovel hits dirt that the design is a sound and worthy design
    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      >>"Nuclear power plant design and safety plans" probably aren't all that secret or even very interesting

      Heh. Right now, terrorists building rogue nuclear power plants is probably the only way we'll ever see a Gen IV reactor in the States.

  • How are the biggest secrets, the least secured? Man, my laptop would be a more secure place for things that the servers of the corp's the gov't has deals with.
    • by jimpop (27817) *

      Because nothing secret has any value unless ut can be shared. Sharing data is where the fun begins.

    • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @10:42PM (#37840332) Homepage

      I can speak from a little bit (and I stress 'little bit') of inside information on this particular topic in that MHI spends far less on IT than you could possibly imagine. What's more, their reliance on outside sources for their services and support is frightening.

      At the end of the day, we live in the information age and the most precious things we have is information. And to spend as little as they do protecting it, one has to think they are doing it wrong and suffer from some really bad or old ideas.

      But you know, Japan is pretty bad about that in general. They are still largely a "job for life" company which means their business culture doesn't vary much. They don't see or understand how others do it. So whatever service and support they get, it's "normal" to them. And new ideas are foreign ideas... and we already know how they are about foreign ideas.

      It actually kinda makes me angry that they sat on the information the way they did... same as the way TEPCO sat on critical data and information surrounding the Fukushima disaster. And I have to say that it was "confirmed" in August that it happened. Do you have any idea how long it takes for them to "confirm" something like this? In my experience, they first got the hint probably a month prior or even more. Their notion of proof requires a LOT of evidence -- they are very thorough, detailed and complete in this way.

      TEPCO and MHI were and are very slow to respond to emergencies and care more for their "face saving" than resolving problems. Perhaps I am just an American judging them by American standards and ideals. But I have to say I believe resolving the problems and learning important lessons would come first with me and it doesn't seem to come first with them.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I can speak from a little bit (and I stress 'little bit') of inside information on this particular topic in that MHI spends far less on IT than you could possibly imagine. What's more, their reliance on outside sources for their services and support is frightening

        That's true for much of the corporate world. IT is seen as a cost-center that is a necessary evil rather than an asset to the company.

        Systems won't get secured because it costs too much. Same with upgrading to the next release of software (since th

      • erroneus, I think you hit it spot on with your points. I spent some time working in Japan and concerning the cultural aspects, I made the same observations that you mentioned. Although strong in technical diversity and innovation, perhaps Japan needs to expand its diversity and innovation in the area of business culture.
      • Oh man, let me tell you about that whole saving-face thing. It's not strictly Japanese. That attitude is more or less a common theme among most of the Eastern world. I'm not sure if Indian culture is this way or not though.But anyways, ya. The Chinese and Korean are all about that saving-face thing. As American, I could care less about that concept. But to my native Chinese wife, it's a very serious thing. I suppose this attitude centers around protecting the family first and foremost. But perhaps someone e

        • by Iron (III) Chloride (922186) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @12:14AM (#37840858)

          I grew up in the States but am east Asian by ethnicity/heritage and have some knowledge of east Asian culture (though obviously my parents didn't think too highly of it, otherwise they probably would've made a more concerted effort to educate/indoctrinate me about it).

          The concept is quite simple, it's primarily about bolstering external perception in order to promote the reputation of a group that one self-identities with - be that the family, the company, or the country. You define an in-group and an out-group, and within the in-group honesty and transparency is permitted (at least with respect to the domain of the in-group, you're not going to be sharing family secrets with your co-workers, for example). However, when it comes to the out-group, every effort is made to give the appearance that activities within the in-group are efficient, successful, "harmonious" (i.e. lack of conflict between members of the in-group) - in other words, bury all dirty secrets and make everything look utopian, even if it isn't. Transparency is discouraged because it is bad PR, and members of the out-group (i.e. the rest of society) are expected to have lower expectations as to the amount of information that is provided through "official" channels. So in order to obtain such information, members of the out-group turn to gossip, espionage, etc.

          I wouldn't say that "Western" culture (I hate that term because I reject the existence of that distinction as philosophically valid) doesn't practice "face-saving" to some degree, it just isn't taken to the extremes that it is in east Asia because of societal expectations regarding transparency and accountability. I for one think that this is one area where people in China, Korea, and Japan can learn a lot from "Western" countries. After all, face-saving is simply an aspect of tribalism, institutionalized.

      • You can distill it down to a very simple observation:

        The Japanese (and most Asian people) are a proud sort and don't like admitting failure. Admitting failure is a gross sign of weakness, second only to the failure itself. This seems rather counter-productive to me but it's a societal and cultural thing, so I have no avenue to judge.

      • by SeaFox (739806)

        TEPCO and MHI were and are very slow to respond to emergencies and care more for their "face saving" than resolving problems. Perhaps I am just an American judging them by American standards and ideals. But I have to say I believe resolving the problems and learning important lessons would come first with me and it doesn't seem to come first with them.

        Isn't that the opposite of the American business way? From my understanding of the two cultures, a Japanese business would work on resolving the immediate crisis and then work out who was responsible for it later. Whereas a Western company would focus on who was responsible first, and then what to do about it after that.

    • The secrets about Japanese nuclear reactors are about as well secured as the reactors themselves.

  • ...except in cyber-warfare, obviously. If I were them, I'd be planning mock 'hacking raids' on their facilities every second week with external and internal software. Two teams alternating attacking and defending with random member swaps after every cycle and in depth discussions on what both sides did after each 'battle'.

    Someone else obviously did something similar.

  • Mitsubishi has kept things "quiet" in the past.

    Years ago Mitsubishi got in trouble for hiding complaints by truck drivers and other owners/operators. Among other defects the wheels would fall off and injure/kill people or the axles would break. Frustrated owners/operators would document this and send the complaints to Mitsubishi. In some attempt to pretend they never received the complaints someone decided to secretly hide these letters and forms in a LOCKER in the MEN'S LOCKER ROOM.

    http://www.poconorecord. [poconorecord.com]

    • by Spy Handler (822350) on Tuesday October 25, 2011 @11:56PM (#37840740) Homepage Journal
      not only that, Mitsubishi was also responsible for hiding the defective fuel tank of its A6M aircraft from the American public. It was only discovered after examining the wreckage of the plane that went down in the Aleutian islands that we finally learned the truth: that it was unarmored, non-self-sealing, and prone to exploding when hit by gunfire. Mitsubishi never owned up to it, nor take the necessary steps to remedy the problem.
      • by fnj (64210)

        Absurd. Jesus Christ, ALL aircraft fuel tanks were unarmored in WW-II. An aircraft has to be light. Armor is incredibly heavy; they hadn't any kevlar. Armor was used very judiciously, mostly confined to small slabs around the pilot. I think what you're looking for is the fact they were not self-sealing. They didn't have any armor for the pilot, or fire extinguishers either. None of this was a "defect." It was not a matter of stupidity or incompetence. They made a deliberate decision to value speed, maneuver

      • by Rexdude (747457)

        not only that, Mitsubishi was also responsible for hiding the defective fuel tank of its A6M aircraft from the American public.

        Er, why would Mitsubishi be obliged to disclose the shortcomings of the Zero to the American public during WW2?

  • No bipedal mecha R&D or anything? Come on, you KNOW they have them! Guess you gotta breach a different Japanese conglomerate... :3

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If Mitsubishi doesn't have them, it's got to be Fuji. Or possibly Honda, they would be a relative upstart but they do have some pretty snazzy robotics tech.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    In regards to nuclear threats, I would be more concerned about current Japanese management practices at their nuclear facilities than any threats posed by terrorists.

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