Star Wars: China-U.S. rivalry now extends to space

Saturday, November 19, 2011
By Paul Martin
November 19, 2011

BEIJING – A U.S. government report warns of China’s attempt to cripple U.S. space defenses. The report says two U.S. satellites were hacked in 2007 and 2008- attacks resemble those described in Chinese military literature. China appears to be taking its cyber-skirmishes with the U.S. to a new level. A recent government report reveals that attackers gained access to two U.S. satellites. Meanwhile, China — the suspected culprit — has internally revealed that it’s developing capabilities to cripple an enemy satellite network via either outright destruction or planted misinformation. A U.S. Defense Department report warns: A high level of access could reveal the satellite’s capabilities or information, such as imagery, gained through its sensors. Opportunities may also exist to reconnoiter or compromise other terrestrial or space- based networks used by the satellite. The report points to China preparing a two pronged approach to attack the U.S.’s space capabilities. The first approach is to use traditional attacks like missiles or orbiters to physically assault enemy satellites (the so-called “hard” attack). A second “soft” attack approach involves instead using cyber attacks to cripple or interfere with foreign satellites. –Daily Tech

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