Hackers attacked U.S. government satellites

Two U.S. satellites were tampered with in 2007 and 2008 by supposed Chinese hackers, according to the soon released U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.  The two satellites, Landsat-7 and Terra AM-1, had been interfered with on four separate occasions, allowing the attackers to be in command of the satellites for two to over twelve minutes each time.

Luckily for the U.S. the two satellites are only used to observe climate patterns and terrain.  These hacks are suspects in case of an open war with China.  We are unclear if the Chinese hackers are states sponsored or not meaning that the hackers weren’t payed by the Chinese government to hack into U.S. satellites.

Just think, hackers were able to hack into a device hundreds of thousands of miles away.  They didn’t even hack into a very important, but if they did, results could potentially be catastrophic.  Having China in control of our military satellites could be devastating because we would be sitting ducks in an open war with China.

According to the article, the hackers were permitted to destroy or block communication of the satellite.  The satellites are controlled from the Svalbard Satellite Station in Norway which often uses the Internet to transfer and access files, it is highly likely that the hackers have managed to break themselves into the station’s system through its Internet connection.






8 thoughts on “Hackers attacked U.S. government satellites

    • You would think that with the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars spent on defense each year that the military would put some of it towards security in some form, not just satellites.

  1. Yeah this is eye opening. Just another good reason why weapons in space is a bad idea. I know it said the two satellites are only used to observe climate patterns and terrain, but what if the hackers could control the satellites enough to make them descend and crash into the U.S.?

  2. i was read this article and was writing about it just as you posted…I know- too slow.
    I was astounded that a satellite network could be connected to the internet. I mean aren’t satellites supposed to be for communication? You mean we can’t put a few satellites up there that are dedicated to direct communication with a single connection? I mean really? Someone didn’t see this coming?
    I certainly hope that or defense satellites are not connected to the internet.

  3. Every week with these blog posts you hear worse and worse things. Pretty much what it comes down to is everything electronic can be hacked. And some of these electronics are so powerful it makes it dangerous. But all we can do is try to make it less likely to be hacked.

    • that’s a pretty interesting story. I hope this arms race to space never occurs.
      I really feel like China and the U.S. are not on the same terms about the use of weapons and missiles to destroy equipment in space.

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