Only 45% of lawmakers changed passwords after cyber-attack

November 18, 2011

In the week following a media report of cyber-attack on their computer network, less than half of Lower House members had changed their passwords, after instructions to do so.

Officials of the Lower House secretariat explained the lackadaisical approach of the lawmakers at a meeting of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's division on Cabinet affairs on Nov. 17.

An Asahi Shimbun story on Oct. 25 on the cyber-attack against the Lower House network mentioned the possibility that lawmakers' passwords may have been stolen. That same day, the Lower House secretariat asked the lawmakers to regularly change their passwords, and on Oct. 27, the secretariat requested an immediate change of passwords.

On Nov. 2, staff members of the secretariat visited the rooms of all the lawmakers and asked whether they had changed their passwords. Only 45 percent of the lawmakers had done so.

The remaining 55 percent replied that they had not yet changed their passwords or did not answer the question.

On Nov. 14, the secretariat admitted that the passwords of all Lower House members and their aides, totaling 480 each, had been stolen in the cyber-attack.

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