Hackers have breached the European Space Agency (ESA) releasing names, logins and addresses of thousands of registered officials, collaborators and subscribers.
The incident comes just hours before British ESA astronaut Tim Peake is set to launch on a mission to the International Space Station, so the hack has occurred at a time when the organisation is in the media spotlight.
Hackers working in the name of Anonymous have claimed responsibility for cyber-attack, which was carried out against European Space Agency’s due.esrin.esa.int, exploration.esa.int and sci.esa.int subdomains via the use of an SQL vulnerability that allowed access to a number of databases.
The information has subsequently been published online and contains full names, email contact details, clear text passwords, office addresses, phone and fax contact details of those registered on the ESA database. The information contains 52 names, email addresses and passwords of 52 internal ESA users.
Hackers have also uploaded a file containing over 8,000 names, email addresses and passwords of over 8,000 subscribers to the ESA domains.
Anonymous is not thought to have any sort of previous disagreement with the ESA and the justification for the attack is “for the lulz”, a representative of the hacker group told HackRead.
The ESA data breach serves as a reminder that practically any organisation or institution could find itself the victim of a cyber-attack or data-breach.
Indeed, renowned security technologist Bruce Schneier has previously warned that governments, corporations and other actors are in the “early years of a cyber arms race”, which means that every individual “is in the blast radius”.
An recent attack on pub chain JD Wetherspoon saw hackers potentially make off with details of 650,000 customers, while ISP provider TalkTalk is still facing the consequences of the latest in a series of data breaches that have taken place over the past year.