COMPUTER HACKERS from China could have interfered with two US government satellites between 2007 and 2008.
The hackers, who allegedly were working on behalf of the Chinese military, gained access to the satellites on four occasions through a ground station in Norway, according to a US congressional commission report.
The suggestion comes from the final draft of the annual report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Bloomberg reports, that is expected to be released next month.
Although the satellites are not military ones, the incidents are perhaps warnings of more and worse to come.
"Such interference poses numerous potential threats, particularly if achieved against satellites with more sensitive functions," says 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."
It is not known what happened during the attacks, but the incidents ranged in duration from two minutes to 12 minutes. The attacks are described as "interference", but could become much worse.
China could try to "compromise, disrupt, deny, degrade, deceive or destroy" US computer systems, according to the report, and could, "critically disrupt the U.S. military's ability to deploy and operate during a military contingency". µ