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



'It's an insult': Backpacker anger at tax rip off

HAPPIER DAYS: The owner of 1770 Castaways says the backpacker tax will keep tourists away from Australia.

"We do the jobs Australians don't want to do"

Gladstone hairdresser drops 60kg for big day

Bridie Immoos and Michael Ritchie wed at Agnes Water on September 24.

Bride sheds 60kg ahead of big wedding day.

WATCH: Gladstone police search for woman in CCTV footage

SNAPPED: The vehicle and the woman was also spotted at the Dingo service station where police will allege the woman stole some items.

Quick conversation leaves man without car.

Local Partners

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

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'

Market opens as Gladstone sellers drop prices to force sale

VENDORS are dropping the price on houses to force a sale.