Japan has not confirmed that secret information was leaked through a cyberattack, following a report from the Washington Post that China hacked the country’s sensitive defense networks.
(Bloomberg) — Japan has not confirmed that secret information was leaked through a cyberattack, following a report from the Washington Post that China hacked the country’s sensitive defense networks.
Japan does not comment on individual cyberattacks and how they are dealt with, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday, when asked about the report.
“I won’t comment on the details due to the nature of the matter,” Hamada said. “We have not confirmed that classified information held by the Defense Ministry has been leaked due to a cyberattack.”
The US National Security Agency discovered in the fall of 2020 that China’s People’s Liberation Army was accessing Japan’s most sensitive defense computer systems, the Washington Post reported.
NSA chief, General Paul Nakasone, and then-White House deputy national security adviser, Matthew Pottinger, flew to Tokyo to alert officials to the breach. The newspaper cited multiple current and former US and Japanese officials.
Hackers continued to access classified networks in Japan — one of the most important US allies — into 2021, the paper said, adding the event has not previously been reported.
The hackers had deep and persistent access, looking for anything they could find. This included plans, capabilities and assessments of military shortcomings, the paper cited three former senior US officials as saying.
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