Japanese space agency JAXA hit by cyberattack – Security

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Japan’s space agency – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) – has been hit by cyberattacks, a spokesperson revealed on Wednesday.

Hackers gained access to computer systems, and the personal information of staff and others connected with the organisation may have been leaked.

Sources from JAXA reveal that an inquiry encompassing potential information leaks has been started.

It has been disclosed that the cyberattack targeted an administrative server crucial for general operations and that information related to rockets was not available on the server.

The space agency became aware of the potential unauthorised access after receiving information from an external organisation which prompted an internal investigation, the JAXA spokesperson said, while declining to reveal the external organisation’s name.

It was not revealed as to “who is the orchestrator” of this cyber intrusion.

The official declined to elaborate on details such as when the attack started. However, Japanese media had reported that the attack occurred during the summer. The police notified them about the incident in the autumn.

Cybersecurity advisory

In September 2023, the US FBI and Japanese police jointly issued a cybersecurity advisory and warned multinational companies of the China-linked hacker group BlackTech.

The report mentioned, “BlackTech has demonstrated capabilities in modifying router firmware without detection and exploiting routers’ domain-trust relationships for pivoting from international subsidiaries to headquarters in Japan and the US – the primary targets.”

“The authoring agencies recommend implementing the mitigations described to detect this activity and protect devices from the backdoors the BlackTech actors are leaving behind,” it added.

In a separate statement, Japan’s National Police Agency said that the group has been engaging in cyberattacks on governments and tech-sector companies in the US and East Asia since around 2010.

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