China has been the center of attention a lot these days but it’s not the good kind of attention. China has been blamed for hacking or cyber-attacks against other countries. Yesterday, it was reported that a spear-phishing attack directed at Japan’s government managed to get a Trojan into the parliament’s network was traced to Chinese networks. Also, Mitsubishi Heavy reported that over 80 of their computers were hacked and sensitive nuclear power plant and fighter jet planes information. And now, China took another hit, this time from the US.
According to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission annual report, US satellites were hacked four times in the span of two years, from 2007 to 2009, possibly by Chinese Military hackers.
The Landsat-7 earth observation satellite system was hacked twice for 12 or more minutes in October 2007 and July 2008 while the Terra AM-1 earth observation satellite was also hacked twice, two minutes in June 2008 and nine minutes in October of the same year.
“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.”
The reason behind why the Chinese Military is being blamed is because of the 2009 USCC report which stated 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.”
China denied allegations and involvement in these cyber-attacks. Spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Wang Baodong, said that the commission has “been collecting unproved stories to serve its purpose of vilifying China’s international image over the years.” He added that China “never does anything that endangers other countries’ security interests.”