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Toyama tritium researcher’s data targeted in cyberattacks

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Research data and personal information may have been stolen from a personal computer belonging to a researcher of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, at the University of Toyama’s Hydrogen Isotope Research Center, the university said.

In addition to research data, hackers may have stolen personal information such as email addresses on some 1,500 people, including other researchers, the school said Monday.

Most of the possibly affected research data were those that have already been published or were slated to be published, and no highly confidential information was compromised, it said.

According to the university, two staff members of the center received emails containing a virus in November 2015 and a PC of one of them, a member of the teaching staff, was infected. The PC continued questionable communications with an outside party for about six months.

The center learned of the virus infection in June following an alert from an outside organization.

The university, based in the city of Toyama, briefed the education ministry on the cyberattacks in mid-June. Earlier in October, it started informing researchers who may have been affected.

The center conducts research on hydrogen, deuterium and tritium, including their use for energy.

Tritium is regarded as a candidate for fuel in nuclear fusion reactors, and is also one of the contaminants in the water building up at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/10/11/national/crime-legal/toyama-tritium-researchers-data-targeted-cyberattacks/#.WAJGziQzYU1

October 15, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Data on nuclear studies, workers may have leaked from university

Hacked: a good news. Hopefully those hackers might release crucial important data, which would change us from Tepco B.S and Japanese government censored information.

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OYAMA–Personal information and nuclear research, including studies concerning the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, might have leaked in a cyber-attack at the University of Toyama here, the school reported Oct. 10.

The leaked data could possibly affect 1,492 students, researchers and individuals from public organizations and companies who conduct joint studies with the institution’s Hydrogen Isotope Research Center.

We apologize for causing great trouble to associated organizations,” said Yasumaru Hatanaka, the university’s vice president.

However, the research that might have leaked, such as studies on water decontamination at the Fukushima nuclear plant, had all been previously presented at academic meetings, so there was no breach in confidentiality, the university said.

No malicious use of the data has been reported since the data breach came to light in June.

According to the university, the cyber-attack targeted a computer operated by a part-time employee specializing in tritium research at the center.

An e-mail containing malware was sent to both the worker and a professor with the facility in November 2015. The professor did not open the e-mail, but the employee did, causing the computer to become infected with a virus.

As a result, the employee’s computer became remotely accessible, and it made connections with four outside servers between November and June. The university’s investigation showed that the computer sent large amounts of data to two of these servers.

A further analysis of the computer found indications that at least 1,000 archive files had been created between last November and February.

Considering their size, nearly all the data stored in the computer may have been compressed into these files. Similar archive files were created using a different method in March, the university said.

The university became aware of the cyber-attack after an outside organization warned the school about suspicious network activities made by the employee’s computer.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201610110055.html

October 14, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment