Monju power plant facility PC infected with virus

TOKYO —

A computer being used at the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor facility in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, was recently discovered to have contracted a virus, and officials believe that some data from the computer may have been leaked as a result.

According to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, which operates the facility, the computer in question was being used by on-duty facility employees to file company paperwork when the virus was first detected on Jan 2, TBS reported Tuesday.

Officials said that around 3 p.m., the computer began corresponding with a suspicious outside site.  Although the computer contained many company-sensitive emails, employee data sheets and training logs, officials said they do not believe any safety-compromising data was leaked, TBS reported.

It is believed that the computer was infected with the virus when a video playback program was attempting to perform a regular software update. Personnel are investigating the cause of the incident and are creating plans to avoid any such potential safety mishaps in the future, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency said. 

Japan Today

  • 4

    tamedcat

    I think they should let us know the software's name after the investigaton.

  • 9

    zichi

    Why hasn't the Monju reactor already been shut and decommissioned? Recent successive gov't's have promised to do just that? No commercial nuclear reactor should have direct connection with the internet so was this from a software problem? Sounds strange a software would have a virus problem?

    The Monju reactor has failed in all areas, technology, safety standards and maintenance procedures. Several major accidents. The gov't has given trillions to the project which has only generated about 60 minutes of power?

  • 7

    gogogo

    Why is a computer in a power plant on the internet? Japan is so stupidly stupid with IT security.

    Guaranteed 100% of all the data on that computer has been leaked.

  • 13

    titaniumdioxide

    a video playback program was attempting to perform a regular software update

    Someone is probably watching porn or akb48 and forgot that the computer doesn't have anti malware.

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    And not only after trillions of yen for a few minutes of power, the reactor continues to pose many, many more problems than it does even the POTENTIAL for benefit.

  • 3

    SenseNotSoCommon

    Homer!

  • 0

    Cortes Elijah

    Probably looking at dirty stuff.

  • -1

    daisan

    something related to stuxnet?

  • -6

    Disillusioned

    Time to change to a Mac. I really can't understand why 90% of the world persists with that Windoze crap!

  • -1

    Frungy

    ... alarmist much? There's no mention of whether this computer was in any way connected to the power plant's actual functions. It seems from the report that it was just used for paperwork, and probably had absolutely no connection to the nuclear function.

    What's next? "Coast Guard Computer infected!!" or "SDF computer infected!!"... this isn't reporting, it is pure and unadulterated fear-mongering.

  • 1

    WilliB

    This is right out of the Simpsons. So the next thing we learn is maybe that even the computers controlling the monju operation are connected to the internet? Crazy!

  • 1

    zichi

    Computers don't need an internet connection to make them hackable which can be done via the power supply? I think it would take some ability to hack a computer from the power supply and from there into the computers which operate a nuclear power plant. Part of the safety updates by the new NRA including the utility companies taking measures to safeguard against terrorism? Many of us live in a changing world and technological advancements.

  • 5

    Cliffy

    Whether it is Windows/OSX....., there will always be virus. There is no such thing as a safe OS. Giving time and resource, anything can be hacked. When majority of the world's PC are on OSX, then there will be more virus on OSX. After all, it is all cost and effort, same goes for hackers, same effort and hit millions, then that will be the first choice.

    Even if you isolate the network, if the employees are not vigilant, the computer network could also be infected. A person can just stage a USB stick infected with virus around the place, someone will pick that up and first thing most people will do is to plug that into a computer.

  • -1

    The_True

    Zichin, Happy new year!.

    an answer to your Question:

    Q: Why hasn't the Monju reactor already been shut and decommissioned?

    A: Pride! Japanese Pride my Brother!!

  • -1

    Cliffy

    And yet millions of people use OSX every day, without anti-viruses, and without getting viruses.

    So yeah, I'd say there is such a thing as a safe OS.

    But comparing to Windows, it is midget. OSX virus exists, it is rare but it does.

  • 4

    kringis

    Why bother creating viruses for a platform that only 7.5% of PC users use, and very few businesses use? The lack of viruses affecting OSX is a sign of its lack of popularity, not how great it is. The same can be said about any other OS. When I had a Blackberry I never got any viruses, but why would I when less than 3% of smartphones are powered by Blackberry OS?

    I'm sure if OSX ever becomes a larger competitor in the market, and makes serious steps into the business industry, it will have plenty of virus problems.

  • -1

    Cliffy

    Actually, Android is the next main target for hackers. As more and more people starting to store sensitive information on his/her smart phone. Just be very vigilant. I use Linux (probably because I have been working in server/UNIX even since graduated from university - kind of bias with Windows and had mostly bad memory/experience with Windows from blue screen of death to each upgrade chew up more resource). Even though having a virus on Linux is a lot less likely than Windows, I still pay very close attention to things running on the system and ready to low level format and wipe out the entire system if needed. Sites from certain countries I will never go to. Email with links will be closely exam before clicking it. Never mind spam which is set up to automatic delete (not even save to any where).

  • 0

    Cliffy

    @Strangerland

    Well, I have to agree that UNIX is a lot more secure than Windows and more efficient. However, it is not bullet proof, I used to work in a one of the main international companies that sell server HW to governments/banks.... supporting/enhancing/fixing UNIX kernel code. I can tell you that there are security holes and also got hit by hackers, just that it did not get that wild coverage as Windows and wouldn't crash the entire system like Windows would. Once in a while we received notice from US government to patch security hole within certain time limit.....

    If you want really secure, then go for VMS.

    Some hackers do like challenge, but most are looking for financial gain. It all boils down to cost. Hitting an OS with over 90% coverage including major financial institutes, that is a big potential gain and more profitable.

  • 0

    lostrune2

    Time to change to a Mac.

    Their applications aren't coded for Macs.

    (And Apple stops supporting older systems early, making businesses systems obsolete in just a few years without costly upgrade turnover every other year.)

  • 1

    Skeeter27

    It never ceases to amaze me that the Japanese government offices are still running Windows XP. Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and updates are non supported. The operating systems are not updated so therefore there will be more security leaks and breaches. This is going to become more and more of a problem! Windows XP was great and it's time, but that time has come and gone!

  • -3

    Disillusioned

    Hey Cliffy! There will NEVER be viruses in OSX because there is no where to hide them! In the last 15 years of Mac OS there has been two very minor viral attacks connected to the email apps and were removed within 24 hours of their discovery. You shouldn't make such outlandish claims based on a knowledge Windoze!

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