Prominent hackers target Russia’s satellite infrastructure
Updated 3 March.
A group of hackers affiliated with Anonymous claim to have disrupted Russia’s vehicle monitoring system.
NB65 hackers say they managed to impact the daily activities of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. The precise target – country’s vehicle monitoring system.
“The Russian Space Agency sure does love their satellite imaging. Better yet, they sure do love their Vehicle Monitoring System,” an ominous message from NB65 starts.
The message says the group deleted the agency’s WS02 software, an open-source application program interface (API) management tool, rotated credentials, and shut down the server.
Cybernews could yet confirm these statements. However, the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, dismissed such claims as false.
Later Rogozin added that hacking a satellite would constitute a reason for war. At the same he said that unless OneWeb, a British-Indian tech firm, provides guarantees that its satellites are not going to be used against Russia, Roscosmos will cancel the planned launch of OneWeb satellites it's cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Starlink, like OneWeb, uses small low earth orbit (LEO) satellites to provide internet access.
After the US imposed severe sanctions against Russia after the country’s military invaded Ukraine, Rogozin threatened that the sanctions may result in the International Space Station (ISS) ‘crashing to Earth in an uncontrolled fashion.’
The statement might be linked to the fact that the Russian segment of the ISS is responsible for guidance, navigation, and control of the entire complex.
OneWeb suspends launches
OneWeb announced on 3 March it was suspending all launches from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome. British government, a shareholder of the company, said it supported the decision.
"In light of Russia's illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, we are reviewing our participation in all further projects involving Russian collaboration," Reuters quoted the British government said.
On the same day, Rogozin announced the Russian government decided to stop supplying rocket engines to the United States in retaliation for Western sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier, Russia suspended cooperation with Europe on space launches from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.
On the night of February 24, Russian forces invaded Ukraine. In light of the attack, the hacker community started rallying to help Ukrainians.
With Anonymous being the most prominent one, numerous hacker groups and researchers partake in various campaigns to help Ukraine.
Cyber activists targeted Russian state-controlled media outlets TASS, Kommersant, Izvestia, Fontanka, and RBC, pushing them offline.
An unknown group has set up a website tool that allows people to participate in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against Russian websites that it claims are spreading disinformation.
Additionally, cybersecurity firms are urging ordinary civilians to join the cyberwar by means of an app that allows them to attack Russian websites spreading disinformation.
According to the United Nations, over 1 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring counties. Ukrainian officials claim the Russian invasion has already claimed 2,000 civilian lives.
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