Hacking The High Ground

Not content to merely cyberattack our civilian and military computer systems every second of every day, the Chinese have now taken their hacking attacks to a whole new, higher level.

Chinese Military Suspected in Hacker Attacks on U.S. Satellites

Computer hackers, possibly from the Chinese military, interfered with two U.S. government satellites four times in 2007 and 2008 through a ground station in Norway, according to a congressional commission.

The intrusions on the satellites, used for earth climate and terrain observation, underscore the potential danger posed by hackers, according to excerpts from the final draft of the annual report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The report is scheduled to be released next month.

“Such interference poses numerous potential threats, particularly if achieved against satellites with more sensitive functions,” according to the draft. “Access to a satellite‘s controls could allow an attacker to damage or destroy the satellite. An attacker could also deny or degrade as well as forge or otherwise manipulate the satellite’s transmission.”

See also:
Hackers Interfered With Two U.S. Satellites, Draft Report Says
Hackers Interfered With 2 US Government Satellites
Hackers reportedly behind U.S. government satellite disruptions
Hackers Targeted U.S. Government Satellites
Chinese military may have hacked US satellites
China may have hacked US satellites
Hackers Targeted U.S. Government Satellites
U.S. satellites tampered by hackers
Hackers interfered with two U.S. satellites, report says
Chinese hackers suspected of interfering with US satellites
New hacker target: Government satellites
Chinese hackers may have attacked U.S. satellites
China suspect in US satellite interference: report
US reportedly attacked by Chinese hackers linked with the military
US Satellites hacked by Chinese Military says Congressional Commission

Given their ongoing and constant obsession with conducting cyberwarfare, it’s hardly surprising that the Chinese would be interested in attacking satellites. After all, in the event of hostilities, taking out the enemy’s satellites would effectively render them “blind”. The U.S. military is particularly dependent on satellite technology for communication and navigation, so it would only be logical for the Chinese, either by hacking or with kinetic strikes, to attempt to neutralize our satellite network and with it our technological advantage. The question is, what are we doing to counter this extremely obvious and serious threat?

/does anyone still remember how to navigate using a map and compass?

Don’t Go Takin’ My Cable Down

NOOO, you keep it away from my cable TV!

Rogue satellite could kill cable programming

An out-of-control satellite is drifting into the orbit of another satellite that transmits cable programming to the United States, the Associated Press is reporting.

According to the news service, a satellite known as Galaxy 15 broke contact with its owner, Intelsat on April 5. Although the exact cause is unknown, the satellite’s owners believe it could have been “knocked out by a solar storm.”

Normally, losing contact with a satellite wouldn’t be cause for much concern, since in most cases, satellites stop transmitting signals. But Intelsat has confirmed that Galaxy 15 is still transmitting signals to Earth and it’s slowly but surely entering the orbit of AMC 11, a satellite owned by SES World Skies, that handles U.S. cable programming.

Intelsat isn’t concerned that the two satellites will collide, but rather that Galaxy 15 could send signals that would interfere with AMC 11’s signals. The interference is expected to occur on or around May 23, according to the AP.

Between now and then, Intelsat is working diligently to regain control over Galaxy 15 and keep it away from AMC 11. An Intelsat representative told the news service that the company is “confident that service disruptions will be minimized or avoided.”

The risks of not succeeding are high. According to the AP, “AMC 11 receives digital programming from cable television channels and transmits it to all U.S. cable systems.”

Comcast, which has more than 23 million cable subscribers, did not immediately respond to request for comment on whether or not its service will be disrupted in the event of an interference issue.

See also:
Drifting satellite threatens US cable programming
Rogue satellite may impact cable TV in U.S.
Drifting Intelsat Satellite Threatens US Cable TV
Satellite threatens cable TV
Out-of-control satellite threatens TV channels
Communications satellite could knock out cable across country
Satellite could kill cable in unorthodox manner
UPDATE: Satellite Cos Downplay TV Risk From Drifting Satellite
Fixed Satellites and Telecommunications Services | Intelsat
Intelsat
SES World Skies
SES World Skies

You know, for what I pay for cable each month, they ought to be able to retask the space shuttle that’s scheduled for launch Friday and use it to go and retrieve this problem satellite

/thou shalt not interfere with my cable television!