Japan’s pension system hacked, millions of data leaked

Japanese authorities announce Japan’s pension system hacked and over millions of personal data leaked which displays country’s vulnerability to cyber security

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Japan’s pension system has been hacked which led to leaking of over a million cases of personal data, authorities announced on Monday.

Japan’s Pension Service staff computers were improperly accessed by an external email virus that caused the leaking of nearly 1.25 million cases of personal data which consist of names, identification numbers, birth dates and addresses, the Department’s President Toichiro Mizushima told reporters in a hastily called news conference on Monday.

Mizushima has apologised to Japanese people whose information have been leaked and stated that the pension service was setting a team to investigate the cause of cyber attack by taking necessary measures to prevent recurrence of the problem.

"These are the people's vital pensions. I have instructed Health and Welfare Minister [Yasuhisa] Shiozaki to consider the pension recipients and do everything possible," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters in brief remarks aired on Japan’s public broadcaster NHK television.

Japan’s incumbent Liberal Democrat Party had faced off with a devastating defeat in a 2007 election for parliament's upper house due to public outrage over botched record-keeping that left millions of pension premium payments.

Abe-led LDP and its junior partner, the Komeito Party, had won 326 seats in the latest election held in December which enabled him to maintain a two-thirds "super-majority" that smoothes parliamentary business.

The leaking of pension system has unrolled Japan’s vulnerability to cyber security which creates a huge security deficit for Tokyo which is known as the technological centre of the world.

Meanwhile, Japan will be brought to the United States’ cyber defence protection against the growing threat of online attacks on military bases and infrastructures, Washington and Tokyo stated in a joint statement on Saturday.

The US and Japan have recently agreed to enhance their military cooperation which also consisted of cybersecurity when PM Abe visited Washington in April.

During the meeting with Abe, US President Barack Obama pledged to increase Japan’s security measures against a possible Chinese offensive in the Asia-Pacific region.

Both the US and Japan have long been worrying over China and North Korea’s increasing capabilities of cyber attacks which became one of the most efficient ways of security threats posed by both Beijing and Pyongyang in the recent years.

Japan hosts the biggest US military contingent in Asia and its military's cyber defence is comparably very weak and vulnerable to the foreign cyber attacks, particularly when the country was preparing to organise the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.


TRTWorld and agencies