Space Wars by Brian Simpson

Roll over Star Wars Episode VIII, a rogue space war could come first. A September 2016 Chatham House report by David Livingstone and Patricia Lewis, Space, the Final Frontier for Cybersecurity? (at https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/space-final-frontier-cybersecurity), has warned that the world’s critical infrastructure is highly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which could lead to a “global catastrophe.”

Most of the critical business and military infrastructure depends on satellites, which are open to cyber-attack. Communication networks can be attacked through jamming, spoofing and hacking, targets being control systems or ground infrastructure including satellite control centres. These attacks may come from hostile militaries, terrorists, or even criminal organisations.

The report argues that governments, being largely composed of older, less technologically literate people, are not fully aware of the threats that such attacks can achieve. For example, a remote possibility is hackers gaining control of some weapons systems, or terrorists hacking into nuclear power stations and wreaking havoc. Depending upon what is attacked and how successful the attackers were, the world could find itself returned to either the early 20th century, or the stone age.

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