Information Possibly Leaked from Last Summer’s JAXA Hack; No Leaks Confirmed Regarding Sensitive Data on Rockets for Now

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
JAXA’s logo

Information from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) that was illegally accessed in last year’s hack might have been leaked to outside parties, it has been learned.

There have not been any confirmed leaks regarding rocket data or other sensitive information so far, sources said.

JAXA’s internal network was hit by a cyber-attack last summer and has continued to be attacked this year as well. JAXA reported the attacks to the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, which oversees the organization.

According to the science ministry and other sources, information related to space development might have been viewed or leaked when the server that manages JAXA’s network was illegally accessed in June 2023. The data might have included information on space-related manufacturers and outside research institutes

Last autumn, JAXA was told by police about the unauthorized access, leading the organization to conduct an internal investigation, which resulted in the detection of other cyber-attacks this year.

JAXA has contacted relevant ministries and agencies and is investigating the details with the government’s National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity, among others.

“We have heard that JAXA is looking into the extent of the impact and shut down relevant networks,” science minister Masahito Moriyama told reporters following a Cabinet meeting on Friday. “Although some information was leaked, it did not contain sensitive information related to rockets or satellites.”

At a press conference on the day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said: “Multiple attacks from outside sources have been reported since last year. [JAXA] is cooperating with specialized agencies to thoroughly investigate each attack.”

A JAXA spokesperson said, “We have inconvenienced related organizations and companies and will strengthen our response to cyber-attacks.”