JAXA Faces Cyber Breach Amidst Struggles in Space Missions

Japan’s Space Exploration Agency (JAXA) confronted a cyber incident, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno confirming suspicions of an unauthorized breach into its network, particularly its Active Directory system. As a precautionary measure, JAXA shut down a portion of its network, including the intranet, seeking assistance to assess the extent of the breach.

Secretary Matsuno assured that the government mandated JAXA to implement countermeasures and initial investigations indicated no compromise of sensitive data.

JAXA’s recent challenges span both cyberspace and space exploration. Past cyber incidents in 2016 and 2012 saw a Chinese national charged for the 2016 breach, linked to multiple attacks on Japanese entities. Legal actions commenced in 2021 against the alleged perpetrator, who supposedly conducted these attacks during their time at a local university.

In space missions, JAXA faced setbacks with recent launch failures after 19 years without any mishaps. The Epsilon rocket veered off course in October 2022, compelling a self-destruct order. Additionally, failures plagued Japan’s new H3 rocket during its test in February 2023 and its maiden flight in March 2023.

Investigations into the H3 rocket’s failure identified a power abnormality during the second stage engine ignition, prompting the shutdown of other components. JAXA is examining and rectifying three potential scenarios stemming from the power glitch.

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