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Cyber Security: How South African National Space Agency Was Hacked

As over 200 South African websites were defaced by the group known as CoomingProject on #OpAfrica

A hacker who identifies with the Anonymous collective Team Hack Argentino, and goes by @TobitowTHA on Twitter, has claimed responsibility for defacing over 200 South African websites. Tobitow posted links to the sites on social media, indicating that the defacement was in support of Operation Africa (#OpAfrica). Among the entities affected is the South African National Space Agency (SANSA)

A new internet hacking group has claimed responsibility for a data breach at the SANSA. The group, CoomingProject, emerged recently and according to claims made on its website, it has a list of victims across the world. However, SANSA confirmed that a data breach took place and said the situation is under control on 6 September. The Agency said it caught wind of a possible breach to its IT system when a file containing SANSA information was found in the public domain.

An internal investigation at the agency determined that no network breach occurred and the data in the file dump was from a public anonymous File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server that is active at the SANSA facility in Hermanus, Western Cape.

“The server however had personal information of previous students at SANSA,” said the Agency in a statement.

SANSA said the FTP server has since been removed and it intends to notify the information regulator and affected parties.

The Agency added that takedown requests have been sent to the sites and domains that are hosting the data but the data might still appear on certain websites.

“Most of the data is information that can be accessed in the public domain as it refers to research related work in Space Science,” said SANSA

The CoomingProject’s website reads “We attack all over the world. We are not a ransomware group we are like the ShinyHunters group.” ShinyHunters is a criminal blackhat hacker group that is allegedly connected to several data breaches and the stolen information is often sold on the dark web.

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