Abe issues call for all to snub Winny

by Hiroko Nakata

Faced with government information leaks from privately owned computers, Tokyo issued a warning Wednesday to ministries, local governments and companies dealing with public infrastructure about the risks of using the Winny file-sharing software on computers used for work.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe also urged the public not to use Winny to prevent infection from the Antinny virus, which automatically uploads information stored on a computer to the Internet.

“Every member of the public needs to be on the alert (about the possibility of information leaks), and the best way is not to use Winny,” the government’s top spokesman told a news conference.

The government’s National Information Security Center, in cooperation with several Internet companies, released on its Web site the same day information regarding the Antinny virus and how to uninstall it.

The announcement is in reaction to several discoveries that confidential government and personal information had been leaked onto the Internet through virus-infected computers owned privately by a number of government employees, including ministry officials, Self-Defense Forces members, police officers and schoolteachers.

In response to recent data leaks through SDF members’ private computers, the Defense Agency said Tuesday it will purchase about 56,000 computers as part of emergency measures to stop work-related data from being leaked.