Mitsubishi Electric announces a security violation, with China as the main suspect

Mitsubishi Electric, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electronics and electrical equipment, announced a major safety breach in a short statement published on its web site today.

Although the violation was made on June 28 last year, and a formal internal investigation started in September, today the Tokyo-based company announced its security incident and published stories about the breach only after a couple of local publications, Asahi Shimbun and Nikkei.

The two publications accused Tick (or the Bronze Butler) of intrusion into China’s Cyber Security Agency, which in recent years has been reported to threaten Japan.

Local media reports revealed the intrusion after a suspicious file had been discovered on one of the company’s servers by Mitsubishi Electric.

This intrusion was subsequently traced to a concerned employee account.

According to newspaper hackers, access to Mitsubishi Electric’s internal systems has expanded from this first entrance point to networks in 14 divisions, for example, sales and the headquarters.

Both articles stated hackers stole sensitive data from the internal network of the organization. In total, Nikkei estimated that the hackers have “hardly stolen about 200 MB of files, mostly business records, on” tens of PCs and servers in Japan and outside of the world.

The company did not deny the exfiltration of data but simply refused the data collected from their partners and defense contractual agreements by the intruders. Mitsubishi Electric

The company said the incident is still being investigated, but the attacker seemed to have deleted access logs and slowed investigators down according to the open-source reporting.

The event is treated extremely seriously in Japan. Mitsubishi Electric is a major defense and infrastructure contractor in Japan, with active military, telecommunications, and rail and grid ventures in the Japanese military.

Mitsubishi Electric also informed members of the Japanese Government and the Department of Defense before its publication today, according to the local Mainichi journal.