Canadian Space Agency and European Space Agency Hacked

The official websites of the Canadian Space Agency ( and the European Space Agency ( were found to be flawed by the German grey hat hacker known as D35m0nd142.

 The hacker provided some screenshots that prove the existence of vulnerabilities in ESA’s main domain and two other subdomains. The main domain contains a Blind SQL Injection vulnerability and the gaia and exploration subdomains each contain a cross-site scripting (XSS) issue.

The site of Canada’s Space Agency presents an SQL Injection security hole that could be exploited in many ways by ill-intended hackers.
“Today an article brought me on the Canadian site and I got the inspiration :)” D35m0nd142 motivated his actions. “ESA appeared when I typed ‘space agency’ on Google.”

As in previous situations, the hacker claimed he didn’t cause any damage to the databases, and the sites’ administrators have been notified immediately.

According to the hacker, none of the administrators he contacted so far responded to his emails regarding the vulnerabilities he identified.

One thing must be noted regarding the grey hat’s findings. The XSS on the subdomain was reported around one month ago by Georgian security researcher Ucha Gobejishvili, also known as longrifle0x.

By comparing the proof-of-concept provided by longrifle0x with the screenshot sent to us by D35m0nd142, we were able to determine that the security hole is exactly the same. From this we can conclude that ESA is having difficulties in addressing the vulnerabilities in its websites.

Space agencies, including NASA, which recently revealed that its systems were targeted more than 5,000 times in the past two years, are a tempting target for hackers who want to test their skills and security researchers who struggle to ensure that public websites are protected against malicious operations.

Unfortunately, so far the organizations’ attempts to devise more effective ways of securing their assets have failed, but hopefully, all the debates regarding the necessity of cyber security that have taken place this year will aid them in devising better protection strategies.


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