Japan’s space agency suffers cyber attack this summer… “Concerns about viewing sensitive development information”

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After being notified by the police, it was recognized as a cyber attack… Attacker unknown

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported on the 29th that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) suffered a cyberattack this summer, raising concerns that sensitive information about Japan’s space development may have been viewed.

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The site that suffered the cyber attack was the central server within JAXA, called ‘Active Directory (AD)’. It is connected to the main network within the organization and manages information such as employee IDs, passwords, and viewing permissions. Police authorities detected fraudulent access this fall and notified JAXA.

Although the intrusion is believed to have occurred around summer, JAXA reportedly did not notice the illegal connection until it was contacted by the police. The newspaper reported that a full-scale investigation began after receiving the call and reporting to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the responsible ministry.

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Although it is said that no large-scale information leak has been confirmed at this stage, “It is highly likely that most of the information was visible as the AD server was infiltrated.” Yomiuri reported that it is being regarded as a “very serious situation (official).”

JAXA plans to expedite the inspection of network vulnerabilities along with investigating the actual situation.

JAXA, launched in 2003, is a national research and development corporation responsible for the core of Japanese space development. It covers a wide range of topics, including rocket launches, manned space development, and asteroid exploration. This year, we are also partnering with the Ministry of Defense in the security field, such as monitoring satellites and space debris.

When Japanese defense-related companies suffered large-scale cyber attacks in 2016 and 2017, JAXA was one of the targets. At the time, the Metropolitan Police Department determined that the attack was caused by a hacker group that received instructions from the Chinese military.

Although the person who carried out this cyber attack has not been revealed, Yomiuri reported that “there is a possibility that sensitive information held by JAXA was targeted,” and that “strengthening cyber security has become an urgent priority for JAXA, which is increasing its presence.” did.

Source: Donga

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