In a press release published on Friday, Panasonic announced that on November 11th, third parties illegally gained access to an internal network. “As a result of an internal investigation, it was found that some data on a file server was accessed during the intrusion.” Opposite the online news portal TechCrunch Panasonic spokeswoman Dannea DeLisser confirmed, however, that the hack began on June 22nd and ended on November 3rd – and that the unauthorized access wasn’t discovered until November 11th.
The technology group based in Osaka, Japan, gave little more information about the break-in. In its Press release (PDF) Panasonic stated that it reported the incident to the relevant authorities and took steps to prevent access to its network from external servers. In addition to its own investigation, the company is working with a “specialized third-party organization” to investigate the data leak and determine “whether personal data from customers and / or sensitive data in connection with the social infrastructure” has been affected.
The news of the data breach comes less than a year after Panasonic India was hit by a ransomware attack in which hackers intercepted four gigabytes of data, including financial information and email addresses. The recent attack on Panasonic’s server is part of a long series of incidents that Japanese companies have been involved in in recent years. Kawasaki, NEC, Mitsubishi Electric, and defense companies Kobe Steel and Pasco have also reported security incidents and, in some cases, data leaks. In September, the computer network of the Japanese manufacturer Olympus in Europe, the Middle East and Africa was affected by an attack by the ransomware group BlackMatter. At the beginning of November, the “BlackMatter” gang announced that they wanted to stop – again. It is still unclear who is responsible for the network hack at Panasonic.