National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Theft and Loss of a Laptop PC that Contains Personal Information incident in the Republic of Chile

On October 21, 2021, in the Republic of Chile, a staff member of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS), had a car break-in and his laptop was stolen.

We have taken measures such as disabling the permissions to access the e-mail address of the staff member who used the laptop. And at this time, information leakage or secondary victims related to this incident have not been confirmed, but there is a possibility that the personal information stored in the laptop was leaked due to the lack of security countermeasures.

We deeply apologize for this incident.

1.Personal information that may have been leaked

*1 Concerned parties have been contacted by November 15, 2021.
*2 After we finish the investigation on the E-mail information, we will contact those who may have been leaked.

2.Measures to be taken to prevent recurrence in future

Since September 2016, we have been working on the encryption of laptop computers and other devices taken outside the Organization. And from this fiscal year, the use of unencrypted laptops outside the Organization has been prohibited. For these reasons, we had been conducting trainings and self-check to inform every staff member. However, the laptop was not configured with security countermeasures such as password setting mentioned in our information security policy. We deeply regret that we have caused such a problem, and we will further educate and enlighten our staff members so that they will comply with the information security policy. And we will also consider bringing in technical countermeasures.

Osamu Kaneko
NINS Chief Information Security Officer
NINS Executive Director

For your inquiries about personal information that may have been leaked:

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