No government agency is safe, not even the ones which aren't operating on Earth - that seems to be this week's lesson from Anonymous, who seemingly decided to have fun at the European Space Agency's expense.
Hackers, working in the name of Anonymous, breached some of the agency’s subdomains with an SQL vulnerability that allowed them to access some databases. On top of the employee usernames and plain text passwords, the hackers also leaked the names, e-mails and passwords of some 8000 subscribers to the ESA domains.
Unfortunately, there’s no clear reason for this attack with the hackers supposedly saying they had taken these actions “for the lulz”. The cyber-attack took place just as the ESA is preparing to launch a mission headed to the International Space Station. Expedition 46, as the mission is known, will be taking British astronaut Tim Peake alongside a host of scientific experiments and supplies to the ISS.
Anonymous has recently taken actions against ISIS, and Donald Trump in the name of human rights and freedom, so this attack against the ESA seems to be out of character. However, that’s only if you forget that Anonymous is not an actual organization but more of a group of (occasionally) like-minded individuals spread all over the world.