The Japanese Space Agency has confirmed that its networks have been compromised by a Trojan virus, potentially granting hackers access to sensitive login information.
The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed Wednesday that the Trojan had, potentially, stolen the login information of its Kounotori - "White Stork" - cargo shuttle.
"With the above backdrop, passwords for all accessible systems from the computer have been immediately changed in order to prevent any abuse of possibly leaked information, and we are currently investigating the scale of damage and the impact. Also, all other computer terminals are being checked for virus infections," read the agencies statement.
Later adding: "We sincerely apologize over such trouble, and we will promptly address the following measures while strengthening our information security in order to prevent any recurrence, as we gravely regret this incident."
White Stalk is a space shuttle used to carry food and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS). The report later suggested that the Trojan may have compromised as many as 1,000 of the JAXA intranet's email addresses and login details.
The virus was reportedly discovered on 6 January, when JAXA engineer's found the virus on an employee working on the unmanned cargo shuttle's computer terminal.
As noted by security firm Sophos, the recent cyber attack isn't the first to target the space industry. In August 2011 JAXA's network was reportedly compromised after an employee opened an infected email attachment.
The security firm later indicated a belief that the attack was indicative of a wider assault on the Space industry. Earlier in 2010 a Romanian individual had been arrested for hacking into NASA's networks. The unnamed Romanian reportedly had access to the space agency's network since 2010.