| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Japanese space agency JAXA hit by cyberattack amid hacking spree by China

Even though hackers attempted to breach Japan’s space agency, they were unsuccessful in accessing sensitive data concerning rockets and satellite operations, as disclosed by a spokesperson on Wednesday, November 29th.
“There was a possibility of unauthorised access by exploiting the vulnerability of network equipment,” the spokesperson at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was quoted as saying by Reuters. However, the official declined to elaborate on details, such as when did the attack take place.

JAXA got to know about the attack after an external organisation conducted an internal audit, as per the spokesperson.
He also declined to identify the organisation’s name.

A detailed investigation is going on into the hacking attempt and it was not revealed who could be orchestrating this.

According to Japanese media, the attack took place in the summer. They were informed about the same by the police during autumn.

The suspect
Earlier in September this year, Japan, along with the US, had jointly warned global corporations against the China-linked hacker group BlackTech in a cybersecurity advisory.

“BlackTech has demonstrated capabilities in modifying router firmware without detection and exploiting routers’ domain-trust relationships to pivot from international subsidiaries to headquarters in Japan and the United States, which are the primary targets,” the statement said.
According to Japan’s National Police Agency, the China-linked group has been carrying out cyberattacks on governments and tech-sector companies in the United States and East Asia since around 2010.

Previous breaches blamed on China
In August, China-backed hackers were held responsible by Japan for a months-long cyberattack campaign, in which Japan’s National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) was targeted.
It was revealed that the hackers may have gained access to sensitive data for as much as nine months, from last autumn to June this year.

As Japan deepens its military and strategic ties with the US and other regional allies, it has become a vulnerable target for Chinese hackers.

Government cyber security experts in both the US and the UK have expressed strong reservations about Japan’s ability to safely handle data.


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