21 Sep 2011

U.S. urges Japan to increase cyber security after defense contractors attacked online

An increase in security software may be needed after attacks on Japan's top defense contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries took place this week. U.S. government officials say these cyber attacks need to be taken very seriously.

The U.S. expressed concerns about the contractors, which builds F-15 fighter jets, U.S. designed missiles and more.

"Cyber security must be a public-sector priority," U.S. embassy spokeswoman Karen Kelley told Reuters. According to the news organization, experts have speculated that the cyber assaults may have included the Stuxnet computer virus, which has been described as a "guided cyber missile" which targets industrial control systems.

BBC quoted Japan's defense minister Yasuo Ichikawa, who said at a news conference that the cyber attacks had not succeeded in getting any information. Ichikwaw said the contracting company would be instructed to undertake a review of their control systems and security software.

All government contractors must information ministers of any breach of classified information immediately, according to the BBC. The Ministry of Defense said Mitsubishi did not inform the ministry right away, which it said was "regrettable." The contractor said the virus was confined to 45 servers and 38 computer terminals and taken care of.