News

Cyber attack on satellite could be global catastrpohy

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.

That is because space is quickly becoming somewhere that isn't dominated just by a few privileged countries. Instead, it is becoming a domain "ruled by market forces", and this is likely to intensify in future.

As such, the authors fear that isolated governments could do little about any specific cyber threat, and that countries must work together to respond to them.

That shouldn't be done by regulation, which can tend to be slow, the authors said. Instead the world should develop a flexible new cyber security regime that can allow space companies to work together across the world and stop attacks on infrastructure.

The authors said that they hoped the required changes would be made by the space industry itself.

"The space industry is renowned as a forward-thinking, market-leading community and it needs to address cyber security urgently," said Mr Livingstone. "What we need is an international community of the willing that would be tasked with developing industry-led standards in order to develop pace and agility in response to the growing cyber threat in space."

Patricia Lewis said that some of that work was already being done, with space agencies looking seriously at advanced protections for space infrastructure.

"The fact that countries such as China are prepared to try completely new approaches such as quantum entanglement, and the European Galileo space navigational network has introduced new security measures, shows the capacity and determination of the space industry to counter the cyber security challenges all of our countries face," she said.

Topics:  cyber attack, editors picks, satellite



Look at who was out and about on the weekend

L-R Emily Rewi, Ivory Aminyo and Bianca Gower at Flamingo's On Quay. Photo Liam Fahey / Morning Bulletin

Check out the great pics snapped by Rocky Nitelife

Cattle injured in truck rollover near meatworks

A truck carrying cattle has rolled near the Teys meatworks on Lakes Creek Road.

Truck rolls over, some cattle injured

Monster trucks a smash hit with Rocky

Scooby Doo impresses crowds at Monster Trucks.

Check out the action and social photos here

Local Partners

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

WATCH: Justin Bieber grabbed in Germany

A video has emerged of singer Justin Bieber being attacked

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

Projects hoped to revive Rockhampton real estate

There have been just over 800 house sales in Rockhampton this year

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

14% of renovators doing own electrical work?

Landscaping (46%), demolition (43%) and interior design (77%) are also often tackled head on by plucky homeowners.

And 12% said they did their own plumbing work

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.