Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced that it was subject to unauthorized access from outside the company.
As a result of a thorough investigation, the company has discovered that some information from overseas offices may have been leaked to external parties.
The Japanese firm, which manufactures motorcycles, military aircraft, and industrial machinery, among many other products, said an internal audit back in June revealed that its domestic servers had been accessed via an overseas office in Thailand.
At this time, the company has found no evidence of leaking information to the external network.
However, because the scope of unauthorized access spanned multiple domestic and overseas offices, it took a considerable amount of time until the company can formally announce the incident.
We sincerely apologize for this delay and the inconvenience and concern to customers and other related parties.
It later discovered further unauthorized access via satellite offices in Indonesia, the Philippines, and the US.
Local media reported that the access started in September 2019 at the latest. The Japan Times also quoted Kawasaki as saying that administrator ID and passwords had been stolen as part of the incident.
Without a trace
Tokyo-headquartered Kawasaki said that entry to its servers “had been carried out with advanced technology that did not leave a trace”.
A news release (PDF) issued yesterday (December 28) stated that an investigation revealed that information related to “unknown content” may have been leaked to a third party.
It is not yet clear what type of data was accessed, nor how big the leak was.
According to the Japan Times, the cyber-attack may have been launched to obtain “defense-related information”, although this has not been confirmed.
The abnormal activity was first detected in June, and Kawasaki’s press release details the steps the firm took in response, and their significant findings, including some clear statements about what they could not determine.
The administrator identification and password of the company’s domestic system had been stolen, Kawasaki Heavy said.
“Customers who may have been affected by this unauthorized access are being contacted individually.”
Kawasaki has also established an in-house cybersecurity team, which it says will “strengthen security measures, analyzing the latest unauthorized access methods, to prevent recurrence”.
Fraudulent access from outside the company started in September 2019, at the latest, according to the company