Japanese oil association hit by cyber-attack

Japan's Petroleum Association was hit by a targeted cyber-attack earlier this month, which saw numerous PCs become infected with an unknown virus.

Local sources reported that the voluntary organisation's PCs had become infected by a virus, but appeared to suggest that no data had yet been seen in the wild. It is  not known how many machines were infected, or what the initial point of compromise was.

The Petroleum Association of Japan (PAJ) is made-up of 18 refiners and primary distributors in Japan. Established in 1955 and based in Tokyo, the group deals with the refining and marketing of petroleum products in the country.

For instance, the PAJ is responsible for activities such as publishing information on issues which are important to the petroleum industry; undertaking various governmental subsidy programmes such as research and development (R&D) and representing the views or proposals of industry to government, industrial associations, the media and general public.

PAJ was not available for comment at the time of writing.

Earlier this year, Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) said that the country's government and official bodies suffered more than 25 billion online attacks last year, with 40 percent of them apparently traced to China, according to a report by Kyodo News. Other sources of attacks included South Korea, Russia and the US.

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