Selling a ship to North Korea? You might want to check you’ve wiped its data first

Graham Cluley

North KoreaWhen Japan sold a decommissioned coast guard vessel to a pro-North Korea organisation, you might have imagine dthat it would check that any data on its navigation system would be wiped beforehand.

After all, that’s what you would do with an old computer hard drive – right?

Unfortunately, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun, no such precautions were taken in relation to the 106-ton Takachiho.

Yes, weapons and radio systems were removed from the vessel but the navigation data recording system was left intact in the control room, says the newspaper.

As a result, the Japanese Coast Guard has informed its regional headquarters nationwide that in future thorough checks must be conducted to ensure navigation data has been wiped clean whenever vessels are sold.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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