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Panasonic says hackers accessed data of job candidates

Panasonic has admitted that a 2021 cyber attack saw hackers access the personal information of job candidates and interns.

The company first reported this data breach in late November 2021. However, at the time, it was unable to confirm what, if any, sensitive information hackers had accessed.

In a press release dated 7th January 2022, Panasonic said that “Some personal information, relating to candidates who applied for employment at the company or participated in internships at certain divisions of the company, did reside on the targeted server. Impacted persons are being informed.”

While the press release notes that it was a Japan-based server that was compromised, it isn’t clear if the incident is isolated to job applicants or interns for Panasonic’s Osaka headquarters or other Japanese offices.

When contacted by Yahoo News, Panasonic spokesperson Dannea DeLisser wouldn’t comment on how many people had their personal information accessed in this data breach. Nor would she disclose what information had been accessed.

The data breach occurred between 22nd June and 3rd November 2021, with Panasonic only discovering the breach over a week after it had ended on 11th November.

Business data also accessed and stolen

At the time of writing, it was unknown who was responsible for the breach. However, Panasonic’s press release also confirmed that files containing “business-related-information” provided by its business partners had been stolen. In addition, the hackers were able to gather information about personnel linked to Panasonic business partners. However, it is again unknown what information was involved.

Panasonic says that no consumer data is at risk or was stolen or accessed during this data breach.

Panasonic has conducted an internal investigation with the assistance of an external security team. The investigation found that hackers had accessed a Japanese server via the server of a Panasonic subsidiary based overseas. The location or identity of the subsidiary has not, at the time of writing, been disclosed.

Panasonic said that it “immediately implemented additional security countermeasures” after discovering the breach. Security steps implemented by the company include:

  • Tightening access controls from overseas locations
  • Resetting passwords
  • Enhancing server access monitoring

Panasonic also said it was strengthening security measures overall.

The discovery of this data breach came just months after Panasonic’s Indian subsidiary was the victim of a ransomware attack, following which hackers leaked four gigabytes of data onto the dark web, which included financial information and email addresses.

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