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Virus Strikes Computer at Japan’s Space Agency

A computer system at JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) equivalent to the U.S. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has contracted a viral infection resulting in potential data leakage from the agency's HTV (H-11 Transfer Vehicle), reports The Mainichi Daily News dated January 16, 2012.

The attack probably extracted technical data input along with system IDs as well as e-mail addresses. Indirectly, it's being cautioned that the malware might've proliferated onto other PCs.

Specifically, JAXA stated that data held on the computer and system information, which an employee accessed, had been trickling out. The agency, after confirming the leakage was probing the cause, it added. Security News Daily published this on January 13, 2012.

Reportedly, it was in July 2011 when the computer contracted an infection as the employee viewed one electronic mail having in its caption, the phrase 'year-end party' in Japanese dictum. It was suspected that a cyber-attack was attempted since other employees too got electronic mail having the identical caption.

After that in the current instance, the same computer is having problems once more. In August 2011, JAXA spotted one separate virus that had infected the PC, following which, the agency removed that malware. Also, it continuously watched the PC closely when more anomalies became noticeable giving way to the malware's identification.

JAXA stated that the data exposed online included an instruction manual for joining parts of HTV as well as providing resources to the ISS; e-mail ids belonging to 1,000 people with a few who were JAXA's business associates; one username and password to gain admission into an in-house business machine of JAXA; and the NASA's ISS scheme of operations.

Consequently, Japan's space exploration agency has embarked on lessening the destruction as also stopping further infiltrations.

In the meantime, it isn't new to have PC-viruses affecting the aeronautical sector. During 2008, a virus had infected a laptop, which the ISS (International Space Station)-boarded astronauts used, apparently for stealing passwords from Internet game players. That malicious software acted more as an annoyance instead of an actual hazard, NASA officials had stated. Security News Daily published this, January 13, 2012.

Related article: Virus Infects Through USB Drives

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