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Japan’s space agency hit by multiple cyberattacks; Claims no sensitive data lost

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Photo: Oasis2me /

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, has suffered multiple cyberattacks since late last year, as acknowledged by Yoshimasa Hayashi, Chief Cabinet Secretary.

The agency has investigated the attacks as it shut down affected networks and verified that affected systems did not contain classified information regarding rockets, satellites, or any information that would otherwise affect national security.

Multiple officials within the Japanese government have backed up Hayashi’s statements, adding that JAXA is working with the government’s cybersecurity team to introduce countermeasures. Defense Minister Minoru Kihara said the JAXA attacks haven’t affected the country’s defence capabilities.

The ministry is monitoring the investigation closely. Education and Science Minister Masahito Moriyama also reported that he believes no damage was incurred from the attacks.

JAXA isn’t the only Japanese entity targeted in cyberattacks in late 2023, either. In November 2023, the AlphV ransomware group targeted electronics manufacturer Japan Aviation Electronics, which manufactures electrical connectors, aerospace electronics, and user interface-related devices.

While the company claimed no sensitive data was lost, AlphV claimed it had stolen nearly 150,000 documents, including blueprints, confidential reports, messages, and contracts. The same group also attacked Japanese watchmaking giant Seiko earlier in October 2023.

The attacks come when Japan is rapidly building military strength in response to a growing threat from China, hoping to have countermeasures ready. JAXA has recently been rather successful in its space program.

In January, its Smart Lander for Investigating Moon made a precision landing on the lunar surface, making Japan only the fifth country to successfully land a probe on the moon. Additionally, the agency’s flagship rocket, the H3, reached a planned orbit for the first time, having failed in its debut flight in 2023.

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: