Cyber criminals are at work again in Japan.
Japan’s Finance Ministry has recently discovered a major Trojan cyber-attack on its computer systems. In all 123 of 2000 systems have been compromised.
The attack has been in operation for almost two years now, but the security systems in place did not detect anything amiss all this while. During this time, the Trojan supposedly stole much confidential data.
The attack strikes resonance with a spate of other attacks that have taken place in recent times, all targeting government offices and entities that deal with the state. The cyber attack on Japanese defense contractors in 2011 and on the servers of the country’s parliament shortly afterwards are cases in point. This leads to speculation of the possible role of enemy-state actors at work, though no conclusive evidence is available.
To counter this menace, Japan is working on a new cyber weapon. Just as a warrior in hot pursuit of a criminal smites down anyone who helped the criminal on the way, this new tool, developed with help from Fujitsu follows the virtual trail left behind by a malware and disables every machine it finds in the way. With the destruction on the middlemen PC that helps to spread the malware, the malware gets contained.
However, the fact that such middlemen PC may be victims themselves and the probability of the tool going out of control leaving behind a trail of desolation akin to the Mongol hordes destroying all traces of civilization on its route from China to Europe in the 13th century means that implementation is still days away.
As of now, the Ministry has changed the hard disks on the affected machines as an effective way to ensure that traces of the Trojan do not stay back.