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Documents from Japanese Farm Ministry Stolen through Malicious Cyber Assault

Cyber-criminals, during an Internet-attack, allegedly hijacked and uploaded over 3,000 secret dossiers to an overseas server wherein the files belonged to the agricultural ministry of Japan government that among other information contained data on world trade negotiations. The crooks, understandably, transmitted the documents using one sophisticated malware, published asiaone.com dated December 4, 2012.

According to government sources, the identical malicious software was as well utilized during July 2012 to steal documents from the government's Finance Ministry.

The sources further reported that once files from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, several among them related to discourses about the multilateral trade agreement within the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), were thought as stolen, the ministry put up an investigation.

Hitherto, as per early probe, the malicious program utilized within the alleged breach is HTran, some connection bouncer-type software that believably is a creation of certain Chinese hacker gang during 2003-or-so.

Police likely will enquire ministry officials for their opinion regarding the event as cyber-assaults essentially mean infringing upon act regulating unauthorized access online.

Government officials doubt, the potentially stolen data were related to the TPP dialogs wherein Yoshihiko Noda Prime Minister of Japan as also senior members of the ministry participated.

Nevertheless, on asking a ministry official during an interview by one Japanese news website, the official refrained from remarking about the cyber-assault's details owing to security maintenance since TPP-associated information are treated as classified information within Japan government's rules concerning its ministries as well as agencies. The official further stated that acknowledging their computer system became subject to any virus contamination would only indicate the ministry network's vulnerability. Nonetheless, he also didn't decline that data had been filched.

Meanwhile, other cyber-assaults occurred against the ministry that became apparent during January 2012; however, there'd been reportedly no real destruction.

Significantly, no government rule mandates ministries/agencies to openly declare Internet attacks, though the ministry-of-internal affairs articulated the affected PC count as also if data was filched.

And while Anonymous, a world activist hacker clan declared plans during June 2012 about attacking Japan government, it's yet not certain if the same clan had launched the current assault.

Related article: Document shell-code – Favorite Target Of Hackers

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