Kawasaki Says Data Possibly Stolen in Security Breach


Kawasaki Heavy Industries on Monday revealed that information from its overseas offices might have been stolen following a security breach that occurred earlier this year.

Based in Japan, Kawasaki Heavy Industries is a multinational corporation best known for the manufacturing of motorcycles, heavy equipment, engines, ships, rolling stock, and aerospace and defense equipment.

On June 11, 2020, the company discovered that unknown actors breached its network. It immediately launched an investigation into the matter but, because the unauthorized access spanned multiple offices, it had no information to share publicly until now.

The thorough investigation, Kawasaki says, revealed that “some information from overseas offices may have been leaked to external parties.”

Kawasaki explained that the incident was discovered during an internal audit, which revealed “a connection to a server in Japan from an overseas office (Thailand) that should not have occurred.”

The company terminated communications between the affected office and its Japan headquarters and started an investigation that revealed additional unauthorized access to its servers in Japan, originating from overseas sites located in Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States.

“We have enhanced monitoring operations to accesses from overseas offices and tightened access restrictions to block unauthorized accesses. Since then, we have continued to strengthen company-wide security measures,” the company announced.

During its investigation, the company conducted a security assessment of roughly 29,000 terminals in Japan and in overseas office networks where incidents possibly occurred.

Kawasaki also says that no further unauthorized access to its network has been observed since August, and that communications between the affected overseas offices and the Japan office have been restored at the end of November.

“Because Kawasaki handles important sensitive information such as personal information and social infrastructure-related information, information security measures have been a top priority for the company. However, the unauthorized access in question had been carried out with advanced technology that did not leave a trace,” the company reveals.

Although the investigation revealed that data might have been leaked, the company could not determine what information may have been compromised. However, it says no personal information was impacted. Regardless, the company is contacting potentially affected customers.

On November 1, 2020, Kawasaki established a Cyber Security Group, which the company says will continue to tighten monitoring and access controls between offices, and will also strengthen security measures, to ensure no similar incidents occur.

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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