Japan’s Space Agency Hit by a Cyber Attack, Targets at Active Directory

Japan's Space Agency

Japan’s Space Agency Hit by a Cyber Attack, Targets at Active Directory

JAXA faces difficulties in both cyberspace and outer space, with the latter being impacted by an electrical malfunction.

The Space Exploration Agency of Japan (JAXA) has disclosed a cyber incident.

Chief cabinet secretary Matsuno made reference to the incident during his morning briefing, wherein he informed reporters that the organization had reason to suspect a compromise, potentially affecting its Active Directory implementation. Subsequent investigation revealed unauthorized access.

Since then, JAXA has disabled a portion of its network, including its intranet, in an effort to obtain assistance in assessing the scope of the incident.

Secretary Matsuno stated that the Japanese government has requested that JAXA implement countermeasures, and preliminary findings indicate that no sensitive data was compromised.

Recent events have been difficult for JAXA in cyberspace and outer space. The agency experienced breaches on Earth in both 2016 and 2012. Regarding the 2016 incident, which was believed to be one of approximately 200 attacks on Japanese entities instigated by the accused, a Chinese national was indicted. It took the Japanese government until 2021 to commence legal proceedings against the putative perpetrator, who was attending a nearby university at the time of the attacks.

The challenges encountered by JAXA in outer space are associated with recent launch failures. Following a gap of 19 years without a failure, both of JAXA’s most recent product deployments were unsuccessful. The typically dependable Epsilon rocket was directed to self-destruct in October 2022 after deviating from its designated trajectory. The first flight of Japan’s new H3 rocket in March 2023 was also unsuccessful, as was its February 2023 test.

Following the transmission of the ignition signal to the second-stage engine, the propulsion system controller identified a power anomaly and subsequently deactivated additional components, according to an investigation into the H3 failure. The subsequent events are unknown, but JAXA is currently investigating and resolving three potential scenarios that it has identified as a result of the power outage.

Better news: two engine tests conducted in November for the H3 were successful.

However, in recent weeks, the space agency has been forced to reschedule the launch of a sounding rocket twice. One of the reschedules was due to inadequate preparation, and the other was prompted to be postponed due to adverse weather conditions.

About The Author:

Yogesh Naager is a content marketer who specializes in the cybersecurity and B2B space.  Besides writing for the News4Hackers blog, he’s also written for brands including CollegeDunia, Utsav Fashion, and NASSCOM.  Naager entered the field of content in an unusual way.  He began his career as an insurance sales executive, where he developed an interest in simplifying difficult concepts.  He also combines this interest with a love of narrative, which makes him a good writer in the cybersecurity field.  In the bottom line, he frequently writes for Craw Security.


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