Japan Ends Government Use of Line App After Chinese Access Personal Data, Telecom News, ET Telecom
“We will stop using [the app] until all relevant concerns in this regard are removed, ”Kato said at a press conference, according to Sputnik.
The official clarified that employees of the prime minister’s administration and the government are prohibited from using the messenger to transmit classified information.
Interior and Communications Minister Ryota Takeda ordered local governments to stop collecting questionnaires and opinions, as well as providing services and receiving all types of applications from the population through this messenger.
Line is one of the most popular couriers in Japan with 86 million users.
Sputnik reported that earlier this week media reported that users’ personal data, including first and last names, email addresses, phone numbers, as well as the content of correspondence and photos, stored on servers in Japan, were available since 2018 for employees. from a Chinese outsourcing company, which has been entrusted with the system administration of the Messenger application.
In addition, at least 32 connections to these servers from China have been recorded.
Line Corp. said on Wednesday that the personal information of users of its app had been viewed by technicians in China without users being notified as required by law.
Kyodo News reported that four technicians from Line’s affiliate in China were able to see user names, phone numbers and email addresses as well as messages that users reported as inappropriate around the summer of 2018. Conventional messages were not read because they were encrypted.
“We are very sorry to have caused anxiety and concern due to our inadequate explanations,” the operator of the app said in a statement quoted by Kyodo News, adding that some of the personal information of users of its applications stored in Japan were accessible from its operational bases abroad, a system in place to improve its services.
Chinese hackers reportedly attacked Australia’s Western Parliament email network earlier this month in a massive global cyberattack involving Microsoft Software.
The online strike, which was detected on March 4 amid the state’s election campaign, prompted the Australian cybersecurity watchdog to intervene in Canberra, Australian ABC reported.
Chinese hackers have also made efforts to hack into Indian cyberspace. There have been more aggressive hacking attempts by Chinese hackers since last year.
Various government organizations like the Computer emergency response team (CERT-IN) and the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Center (NCIIPC) are monitoring trends and keeping track of attempts made by China after the Galwan clash.
Experts said China’s attempts had increased over the past year, which gained further momentum after the Indian government banned Chinese apps after the Galwan clash.