Confidential data from Japanese nuclear plants ends up on Internet

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Confidential data from Japanese nuclear plants was posted on the Internet when a worker's computer software was attacked by a virus, a company said Thursday.

The Japanese government said it was investigating whether the data included sensitive information on nuclear materials.

Mitsubishi Electric Industrial Co. said the information -- inspection forms, reports and manuals used from 2003 to this year -- probably appeared on the Internet sometime after March, but company officials were unaware of it until Wednesday.

The files from Tokyo-based affiliate Mitsubishi Plant Engineering Corp. had been saved on a worker's personal computer, which was loaded with file-sharing software, the company said. A virus that infected the software sent those files to the Internet.

Mitsubishi Electric said the information was from seven Japanese electric power companies and four other utility industry firms.

Though confidential, the data did not appear to include anything about nuclear materials, according to media reports.

Associated Press