Network cavity accused of data breach at Japanese candy maker Morinaga

More than 1.6 million people affected by suspected compromise that ‘stuck’ servers

Japanese confectionery maker Morinaga has warned that an alleged data breach of its online store may have exposed the personal information of more than 1.6 million customers.

Information potentially exposed includes names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, purchase history and, in less than 4,000 cases, email addresses of affected Morinaga Direct customers.

The firm fears that attackers have accessed several servers managed by the publisher after exploiting vulnerabilities in its network.

‘Unauthorized access’

In the English version of a infringement notice (PDF), Morinaga at Home “cannot rule out the possibility that certain personal information may have been leaked” from affected customers of its Morinaga Direct Store e-commerce business, after “several servers operated by the company made the unauthorized access object”.

The company – which apologized to its customers, business partners and other stakeholders – said the information exposed excluded credit card information.

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Although there is no evidence of fraudulent use of potentially leaked personal information, the company has begun notifying potentially affected customers directly of the incident.

Customers who purchased products from the confectioner between May 1, 2018 and March 13, 2022 may be affected.

Investigation

The problem was identified on March 13, when staff investigating the cause of error messages on company-managed servers found evidence of unauthorized access.

“Some segments of the company’s internal computer system were damaged due to unauthorized access,” Morinaga reports.

Morinaga shut down external access to its network after discovering the breach, before hiring outside experts and beginning to investigate the breach.

“The initial investigation confirmed that several company servers had been subject to unauthorized access and that access to certain data had been locked,” the official statement from the provider said, adding that one of the servers concerned managed product deliveries to Morinaga Direct Store customers.

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The use of the term “locked down” implies that some form of ransomware may have been involved in the attack, but this remains to be confirmed. The daily sip contacted the Japanese manufacturer for confirmation on this point as well as a request for an update on its response to the incident and its investigation of the violations.

Morinaga’s investigation has so far determined that it is “very likely that the unauthorized access was obtained through the exploitation of vulnerabilities in [unnamed but internet-connected] Network devices”.

Although there has been “some impact on the supply of certain products” as a result of the incident, Morinaga said he does not anticipate anything more than a “minor” impact on his business performance. .

The company nonetheless reported the incident to law enforcement and Japan’s Personal Information Protection Commission.

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