June 19, 2021

Did the Chinese Attack American Satellites?

(LiveHacking.Com) – Bloomberg Businessweek are reporting that the annual report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which is due to be published next month, will show that the control systems of two US satellites, Terra AM-1 & Landsat 7, both of which are used for Earth climate and terrain observations and mapping, where “interfered with” (in other words attacked) by the Chinese military.

The attacks, which happened in 2007 and 2008, where launched from a ground station in Norway. Unfortunately the report doesn’t expand on the nature of the hackers’ interference with the satellites.

“Such interference poses numerous potential threats, particularly if achieved against satellites with more sensitive functions,” according to the draft. “Access to a satellite‘s controls could allow an attacker to damage or destroy the satellite. An attacker could also deny or degrade as well as forge or otherwise manipulate the satellite’s transmission.”

Although the report doesn’t explicitly point the finger at the Chinese government, the commission’s 2009 report said that “individuals participating in ongoing penetrations of U.S. networks have Chinese language skills and have well established ties with the Chinese underground hacker community,” although it acknowledges that “these relationships do not prove any government affiliation.”