News: Attack comes hours before British astronaut blasts off.
Just hours before British astronaut Tim Peake blasts off on his voyage to the Internatinal Space Station, the agency running his mission, the European Space Agency (ESA,) has had its website hacked.
The personal and login credentials of thousands of subscribers, as well as some officials, have been stolen and posted online by people working for Anonymous.
Although the hacktivist group normally have a political reason behind their attacks, a representative told HackRead that it carried out this attack "because xmas is coming and we had to do something fun so we did it for the lulz."
This attack was carried out on the ESA’s due.esrin.esa.int, exploration.esa.int, and sci.esa.int subdomains, using a blind SQL vulnerability, with the hackers subsequently gained access to the site’s database.
The names, email addresses and passwords of over 8,000 subscribers to the ESA website have been posted online.
More worryingly, the full names, email addresses, clear text passwords, office addresses, phone and fax numbers details of 52 internal users on the ESA database have also been published online.
Space agencies provide a tempting target for cyber criminals. In October 2013 the National Crime Agency arrested a 28 year old man from Suffolk who had NASA amongst his targets.
Anonymous has previously carried out attacks against Daesh, taking down Twitter accounts associated with the terrorist group, and CloudFlare, the DNS provider who it claimed was protecting Daesh websites. President Obama and the BBC have also been targets.