Japan: Doomsday cult helped build Japan's Defence Agency computer network

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Nando Times

(for educational purposes only)


TOKYO (February 29, 2000 10:55 a.m. EST http://www.nandotimes.com)

A company tied to the cult accused of a deadly nerve gas attack in Tokyo's subways built computer systems for Japan's Defense Agency and other ministries, officials said Tuesday.

The company, affiliated with Aum Shinri Kyo, was subcontracted by firms that received an order from the Defense Agency to create a communication network that included a system to block hackers, said agency spokesman Mutsuharu Abe.

Kyodo News Agency reported that police suspect the company tried to plant a device in the system that would instead make breaking into the agency's computers easier.

Abe was unable to confirm that. But he said the agency has suspended implementation of the communication network designed for the Ground Self-Defense Forces because of the cult's involvement.

Abe said police informed the agency that the Aum-affiliated company built part of the network Tuesday, a day before it was scheduled to go into operation.

Police said the Aum-linked company also created software systems for the Construction Ministry, the Posts and Telecommunications Ministry and the Education Ministry as well as NTT, Japan's largest telecoms company.

Kyodo News said the Aum-related company, whose name was not released, also created software for dozens of major companies.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki criticized the ministries for neglecting to conduct stricter checks.

"We are surprised," Aoki was quoted as saying by Kyodo News. "We believe that the ministries should check who their suppliers are and that the suppliers should check where the products are made."

The discovery follows several hacker attacks on Japanese government Web sites that raised alarm about lax security in government computer systems.

Officials discovered Aum's involvement in building the software systems in raids on cult facilities under a new law intended to crack down on the group, said a police spokesman, who requested anonymity.

In their raids, police confiscated information on thousands of officials at Japanese corporations and suspect Aum intended to use its business operations to steal government and corporate data, Kyodo said.

Computer-related businesses have been one of the cult's biggest sources of revenue since most of its leaders were arrested following the 1995 sarin gas attack that killed 12 people and sickened thousands. Former Aum guru Shoko Asahara is on trial for allegedly masterminding the attack.

The group, which recently changed its name to Aleph, is still believed to have more than 2,000 followers."

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), February 29, 2000


Miss Rachel, there just isn't a whole lot of difference between them doin' this and us subcontracting our IT work to companies that imported black market labor ( like that Andrews AFB thread and other little goodies not posted yet). Looks like the whole establishment got took for a ride, don't it? Bet those Ole Boys on the underground sure think the whole scenario is funny. Keep watchin' that microwave out of the corner of my eye.

-- little wifey (littlewife@home.com), February 29, 2000.

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