Japan Space Agency Suffers Cyberattack, Raising Concerns for the Country’s Defenses

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Japan’s space agency was reportedly penetrated by a cyberattack by unknown entities, but according to officials, no sensitive information about rockets or satellites was accessed.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (or JAXA) reported to the government that the “possibility is high that unauthorized access was made” to its central server, as was reported by government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno. The mentioned server controls the agency’s intranet, but Matsuno clarified that they have received information that the server is not dealing with sensitive information such as the operation of rockets and satellites.

JAXA is the hub of Japan’s space industry. It is working on new rockets and launches of satellites, as well as the country’s ongoing “Moon Sniper” lunar exploration mission which launched back in September. A spokesman for JAXA stated that the agency was investigating the incident in cooperation with police and cybersecurity vendor companies, adding that the current belief is that the targeted vulnerability was in the network equipment.

According to Techxplore, the police alerted JAXA earlier this year after it became aware of the attack. The company was reportedly unaware of the attack prior to the police’s warning.

Back in July, one of Japan’s busiest ports called “Nagoya Port” was completely disabled by a ransomware attack that was reportedly blamed on the Russia-based cybercrime organization “Lockbit”.

Japan’s National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (the agency in charge of the nation’s defenses against cyberattacks) was apparently also infiltrated by hackers for as much as nine months, as was reported by the Financial Times. The same month US officials were cited as saying that Chinese hackers had compromised Japanese classified defense networks and expressed their concerns about the cyber defenses of the country.

The Japanese government has reportedly denied these claims.

This information was provided by Techxplore.