Japan’s Leading Companies Exposed To Ransomware

A hacking attack on the largest Japanese IT company has affected the country’s corporate sector and cyber security experts predict that this could cause a surge in ransom attacks by organised criminal gangs on companies and their customers.

Over 10 leading Japanese companies say they have been affected by the hacking at Fujitsu, which supplies Internet infrastructure to thousands of companies.

Last December Fujitsu received information from the police that triggered an internal investigation into a cyber incident that had taken place, allowing external access to communications sent through a Fujitsu-based email system. 

Fujitsu has now admitted that it was hacked in 2022 but it refuses to disclose how many of its customers were hit.

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire, which is one of Japan’s largest underwriters of corporate insurance against cyber attacks and a prime target for ransomware gangs, said it was affected by the Fujitsu leak. The company said it took the situation seriously and they have been contacting their corporate clients to discuss the possible impact of the breach and the potential loss of sensitive data. 

The technology giant Kyocera, clothing maker Goldwin and property developer Sekisui House have all said within the past month that they are also among the companies affected by the Fujitsu incident.

Cyber security experts said that the attack on Fujitsu was consistent with the tactics of highly professional gangs in Russia and Belarus who target Japanese companies and organisations as they often have relatively low-level defences and their willingness to pay a ransom tends to be high.

IBM Security has said in its 2022 Data Breach Report that ransomware attacks were sharply on the rise, with the global average cost to companies suffering a ransomware attack was $4.5m, not including the payment of the ransom itself.

The best way to prevent a data breach is to understand why it’s happening. “For 83% of companies, it’s not if a data breach will happen, but when...  When detecting, responding to and recovering from threats, faster is better. Organisations using AI and automation had a 74-day shorter breach lifecycle and saved an average of $3m more than those without,” says IBM’s Report

Fujitsu said it has launched an internal investigation into the incident after it first received information from the police, nearly four months ago. The company has apologised and said it was investigating and co-operating with affected clients.

It was the second significant attack on the group in as many years. In 2021, Fujitsu’s cloud service for government agencies was targeted by hackers, resulting in a data breach at the foreign ministry, the cabinet office and other ministries. Data from Fujitsu was subsequently found being sold on the Dark Web by a criminal group named Marketo.

Insurance Business:      IBM:       Bleeping Computer:       ZDNet FT:    

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