Security experts think Nissan’s network was hit by “Chinese hackers”

Article by Anita Panait, on April 25, 2012

Nissan Motor Co. disclosed that its global computer network has been hit by hackers whose identities haven’t been confirmed yet. A Nissan official told TheDetroitBureau.com that they are now assessing the overall extent of the damage cause by the hacking. According to the official, they are currently reinforcing the network to protect it from further attacks.

Nissan, however, said that that the hacking has had no immediate damage on its customer data and vehicle program files. Nissan’ Executive Vice President Andy Palmer disclosed that the company’s information security team has confirmed that its network was hacked but he claims that aggressive actions were immediately taken to prevent the loss of the system as well as the data.

A Nissan spokesman disclosed that the company detected the virus intrusion a week ago but only divulged the matter to the public after it got a better hold of the situation and determined whether files and programs were compromised.

Palmer assured the public in a prepared release that the company’s systems remain secure and that no customer, employee or program data has been compromised. Palmer, however, confirmed that user IDs and hashed passwords were transmitted, but downplayed any indication that personal information and emails were compromised.

Security experts, however, were quick to place the blame on China. Former U.S. security chief Richard Clarke, in an interview with Smithsonian Magazine in March, noted that Chinese hackers have been attempting to intrude on every major company in the United States.

Clarke warned that computing equipment sold in the U.S. but made in China may be contaminated with “logic bombs” and other means that hackers could exploit.

According to Clarke and other security experts, the Chinese government has been sponsoring or tolerating network hacking to gain access into corporate information and intellectual property. Stolen information gained from the hacking will be then be forwarded to Chinese corporations for their own benefit.

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Topics: nissan

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