Hackers Attacked U.S. Satellites Connected To The Internet, Report Finds

Pierluigi Paganini November 03, 2011

Hackers interfered with the operation of two U.S. government satellites in 2007 and 2008 obtaining access through a ground station in Norway. The usage of the attacked satellites is climate monitoring.

There aren’t any news regarding the nature of the interference but notes that the hackers “achieved all steps required to command” the Terra AM-1 satellite, but never actually exercised that control. An attacker with command privileges could “deny or degrade as well as forge or otherwise manipulate the satellite’s transmission,” or simply damage or otherwise destroy the satellite.

What can happen if the attack will target satellites with more sensitive functions (e.g. military or intelligence unit) Which are the plausible scenarios?

The hackers appear to have gained access to the satellites through the Svalbard Satellite Station in Spitsbergen, Norway, which “routinely relies on the Internet for data access and file transfers,” according to the report.

More details the following article:


I highly recommend the study of the slides of Jim Geovedi delivered at Church and Raoul ‘HITB Amsterdam in 2011. Hacking a Bird in the Sky

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – hack proof quantum communication satellite, hacking)

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