Unknowns Hack European Space Agency, NASA And Others

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New hacker group ‘The unknowns’ hits NASA, the European Space Agency and military targets

A group of hackers that call themselves “The Unknowns” claim to have hacked into systems belonging to the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA, as well as a number of military websites.

Besides ESA and NASA, The Unknowns  have also hacked into systems belonging to the US military, US Air Force, Harvard, Renault, French Ministry of Defence, Bahrain Ministry of Defence, Thai Royal Navy and Jordanian Yellow Pages.

Hacker Message

They posted screen grabs of the hacks on Pastebin, as well as a message to the hacking victims, warning them to protect themselves.

“We are The Unknowns; Our Knowledge Talks and Wisdom Listens…” the message starts.

“Victims, we have released some of your documents and data, we probably harmed you a bit but that’s not really our goal because if it was then all of your websites would be completely defaced but we know that within a week or two, the vulnerabilties we found will be patched and that’s what we’re actually looking for,” they said.

“We’re ready to give you full info on how we penetrated threw your databases and we’re ready to do this any time so just contact us, we will be looking forward for this,” the message said. “And for all the other websites out there: We’re coming, please, get ready, protect your website and stop us from hacking it, whoever you are. Contact us before we take action and we will help you, and will not release anything… It’s your choice now.”

The group of hackers also had a message for the public, appealing for their support.

“And for the Public: We’re looking for your support… Support us to deliver our message to everyone out there…”

Official Confirmation

NASA has confirmed to the IDG News Service that one of its websites hosted at the Glenn Research Center was attacked.

“NASA security officials detected an intrusion into the site on April 20 and took it offline,” Sally V. Harrington, a NASA public affairs person wrote in an email statement. “The agency takes the issue of IT security very seriously and at no point was sensitive or controlled information compromised.”

Techweek Europe meanwhile contacted the European Space Agency but they could not field a spokesman to talk with the press until next Monday.

Meanwhile “The Unknowns” promised on their Twitter feed that they would inform the hacking victims as to how they penetrated their systems.

Previous Attacks

This is not the first time that the ESA has been hacked.

Back in April 2011 a hacker breached their FTP servers and posted 200 usernames and passwords online. The ESA confirmed the attack to TechweekEurope at that time, which was said to have been carried out by the Romanian hacker TinKode.

TinKode also attacked the Royal Navy website in 2010, forcing the website offline for a number of days.

The Unknown hacks meanwhile come amid reports of serious attacks on top secret systems belonging to the British Ministry of Defence (MoD).

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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