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Hackers Steal 3, 000 Classified Japanese Government Documents
From: Erica Absetz <eabsetz () opensecurityfoundation org>
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2013 22:59:18 -0500


A recent cyber attack on Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries apparently resulted in the theft of more than 3,000
classified documents, including several related to negotiations over
the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.

"The stolen documents are suspected to be internal ministry materials
created just before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
summit on November 2011 and before a Japan-U.S. meeting concerning the
TPP on April 2012," writes The Japan Daily Press' Ida Torres. "One
document contained a draft statement to be issued by then Prime
Minister Yoshihiko Noda and U.S. President Barack Obama regarding the
TPP. More than 20 of the files believed to be stolen are highly
confidential documents related to Japan’s roadmap for participating in
the TPP talks as well as analysis of the consequences of delaying a
decision to join it."

"The attack on the Japanese Ministry apparently involved a remotely
operated trojan along with a connection bouncer called 'HTran,'"
writes PCMag.com's Max Eddy. "Dell's SecureWorks has looked at HTran
before, and believe it was originally created by a Chinese hacker to
conceal the location of command and control servers and 'redirect TCP
traffic destined for one host to an alternate host.'"

"The National Information Security Center of the Cabinet Secretariat
discovered about one year ago that suspicious transmissions involving
HTran had occurred at the ministry," The Daily Yomiuri reports. "An
information security expert said HTran is often used in cyber-attacks
to steal information, as it can send data secretly. The program was
also used to steal data from the Finance Ministry, as HTran data
transmissions were discovered to have taken place from October 2010 to
November 2011, the sources said."

"Initially, the ministry didn’t contact the police, despite the fact
that the intrusion fell under the Unauthorized Access Prohibition
Law," writes Softpedia's Eduard Kovacs. "However, now, the police have
launched their own investigation to determine what information has
been compromised."
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