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SECURITY > Cybersecurity

JAXA, 200 other entities come under cyberattack by Chinese hackers

  • April 20, 2021
  • , NHK, TBS, Fuji TV
  • JMH Summary

NHK reported this morning on the finding that approximately 200 research institutes and companies in Japan, including JAXA and defense-related firms, came under cyberattack by a group of Chinese hackers, apparently at the direction of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The Tokyo Metropolitan Police are set to send prosecutors the files on a Chinese Communist Party member in his 30s who rented a server used for the cyberattacks under a false name while in Japan.


According to a source close to the investigation, it was found that JAXA came under cyberattack in 2016, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police found that a rental server was used for the attack and that a male system engineer in his 30s, a Chinese Communist Party member who was living in Japan at the time, rented the server five times. An ID needed to use the server was reportedly handed to a Chinese hacker group called Tick through an online site. In addition, the police found that another Chinese man rented a server in Japan under a false name at the instruction of a member of the PLA’s Unit 61419, which specializes in cyberattacks.


The network added that although the two Chinese men had already left Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police will send papers to prosecutors as early as today on a man in his 30s on charges of collecting and using data from personal electromagnetic records. A JAXA spokesperson reportedly told the network that although there were cases of unauthorized access that appeared to be cyberattacks, there has been no leakage of information. TBS and Fuji TV carried similar stories, quoting Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato as telling the press this morning that although he is aware of the reports, he will refrain from commenting on the case as it is under investigation.


NHK later reported that it learned that Mitsubishi Electric and Hitachi as well as several universities including Keio and Hitotsubashi were among the entities that came under cyberattack.

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