http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/news/20031002p2a00m0dm021003c.html Mainichi Shimbun Japan, Oct. 2, 2003 NAGANO -- Hackers could easily obtain private information kept in the controversial resident registry network, a test has found. The Nagano Prefectural Government has been trying to hack into the Big Brother system in an apparent bid to use the results as the basis for justifying its withdrawal from the network. "I have been informed that experts are analyzing the results," Nagano Gov. Yasuo Tanaka. "We are carefully handling the results because the test involves private information." Sources from the prefectural government said they would announce the test results after experts have finished their analysis. After hearing the results of Nagano's experiments, local governments also voiced fears of leakages. Hiroshi Yamada, mayor of Tokyo's Suginami-ku who has said citizens would only be asked to join the network on a voluntary basis, quickly reacted to Nagano's test. "We will confirm the results of the Nagano experiment and take counter-measures as soon as possible," Yamada said. Suginami-ku is planning to send the registration procedures for the network to all residents, but officials said they now may possibly postpone the plan or even give it up. Hiroshi Nakada, mayor of Yokohama, which also allows citizens to join on a voluntary basis, said either the national government or local municipalities had to think about anti-hacking measures. "I now know that residents' information cannot be kept inside the Yokohama Municipal Government," Nakada said. Nagano officials began the hacking test on Sept. 22 after obtaining the approval of three local municipalities such as Achi to avoid violating the law banning illegal access to online networks. During the test to hack into the three municipal resident registry host computers, they learned that hackers could have conditional access to registered citizens' information. Hackers can even alter information kept in the host computers, the sources said. About 800 municipalities connect their resident registry system to the Internet through this local online network. An official of the Ministry of Public Management that supervises the nationwide resident registry system tried to calm uncertainty over the controversial results. "I think only some vulnerable access routes have been found," the official said. "Municipalities have different types of firewalls (designed to protect the online network from hacking). I don't think the test results will threaten the safety of the entire resident registry network." Hiroko Uehara, mayor of Kunitachi in the suburbs of Tokyo that refuses to be part of the system, said that just one vulnerable point could collapse an online network. "I think Nagano did a good test. The results helped people understand that the system is not safe," Uehara said. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomo@private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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