The contents of emails — including correspondence involving officials of central government offices, banks and manufacturers — entered into a free translation service website have become freely accessible, an information security company said Friday.
According to LAC Co., at least 30 cases of email leaks through the website have been confirmed.
The information made accessible on the Internet contained the names of people, companies and government sections as well as the messages and their translations.
The website offers a free translation service for about 60 languages. It is not a translation service provided by major Web service operators such as Google and Yahoo.
In one case, an official from the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry appeared to be making arrangements with an employee of a major electronics manufacturer over a seminar to be held outside Japan.
The content of the email can be read on the Internet, along with its English translation.
The ministry official, whose name was exposed, confirmed the email but said the electronics company probably used the translation website.
Another email, apparently written by a bank employee, suggested the completion of a specific transaction. There was also an email concerning recruitment.
“It is dangerous to use free translation websites without confirming their safety,” said Itsuro Nishimoto, an official of LAC. “A reliable method should be chosen when translating important information.”
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