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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Hackers took control of two satellites for few minutes


According to a US report recently claimed that hackers had managed to interfere with two military satellites, but one expert argues the amount of energy required would be too great for ordinary hackers.

The hackers took control of the Landsat-7 and Terra AM-1 satellites for a grand total of 12 minutes and two minutes respectively.

One might hope that the communications satellites suspended in orbit above the earth might be one component of the planet’s technology infrastructure that is safely out of harm’s way.

But as satellite communications enthusiast Paul Marsh explained at the London Security B-Sides event in April, there are reasons to doubt the reports. He spoke about a similar story, reported in the late 1990s, about hackers supposedly accessing UK military satellite communications network SkyNet and ‘nudging’ one satellite out of synch.

Whether Chinese hackers have that capability now is just one more matter of speculation to add to the opaque field of cyber warfare.



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  2. 1. These are not military satellites, they are research satellites with medium resolution. Landsat is 30m for example.
    2. Landsat and Terra are not suspended, the orbit the earth in a near-polar trajectory

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