• Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

Two of the world’s most sophisticated telescopes face shutdown due to hacker interference


Sep 18, 2023
Two of the world’s most sophisticated telescopes face shutdown due to hacker interference

Various prominent astronomical observatories have lately skilled cyberattacks, top to short-term shutdowns. The National Science Foundation’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Investigation Laboratory (NOIRLab) had to halt operations at its Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii, Gemini South Telescope in Chile, and other smaller sized telescopes on Cerro Tololo in Chile right after a cybersecurity incident on August 1. NOIRLab has been functioning with cybersecurity professionals to restore the impacted telescopes and site, with progress getting produced so far.

The precise nature and origin of the cyberattacks stay unclear, and NOIRLab is taking a cautious strategy in sharing info whilst the investigation is ongoing. The organization is committed to transparency and guaranteeing the safety of its infrastructure, and it plans to offer far more particulars to the neighborhood when acceptable.

It is worth noting that these cyberattacks occurred shortly prior to the United States National Counterintelligence and Safety Center (NCSC) issued a bulletin warning American space providers and investigation organizations about the threat of cyberattacks and espionage. Foreign actors recognize the significance of the industrial space market to the US economy and national safety, as properly as the reliance on space-primarily based assets in crucial infrastructure. They view US space-associated innovation and assets as each possible threats and worthwhile possibilities for acquiring critical technologies and experience.

This is not the initial time that astronomical observatories have been targeted by cyberattacks. In October 2022, hackers disrupted operations at the Atacama Significant Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, and NASA has been a repeated victim of cyberattacks more than the years. In 2021, NASA was impacted by the SolarWinds breach, which served as a key wakeup contact for cybersecurity inside the agency’s leadership.