Cyber attacks on satellites could spark global catastrophe, experts warn


September 22, 2016

The world is dangerously unprepared for a global disaster sparked by cyber attacks on space infrastructure, experts have warned.

Authorities are not doing nearly enough to stop space assets being hacked and used maliciously, according to a warning from security experts. The consequences of such a hack could be disastrous – anything from damage to trade and financial services to terrorists taking over strategic weapons.

Much of the world’s infrastructure is dependent on space machinery – almost every important business or technology on the ground is powered by space assets. And while governments have done a great deal in looking to secure those technologies on Earth, they could easily be threatened from space.

Those weaknesses could be exploited by people and groups including states, criminal syndicates, terrorists and hackers to create a potential global catastrophe on Earth, according to a new report from Chatham House.

The think tank suggested that authorities should commit to a “radical review” of cyber security in space. There’s currently no global organisation looking at the issue and the situation may advance so quickly that governments soon won’t be able to do anything about it, argued Dr Patricia Lewis, director of the international security department at Chatham House, and her co-author David Livingstone, an associate fellow at the institute.

Read full story…