Chilean astronomical observatory hit by cyberattack

Chile's Atacama Large Millimeter Array observatory, which is one of the largest astronomical observatories worldwide, has been impacted by a cyberattack late last month, which has not affected the observatory's scientific data and antennas but has resulted in restricted email service use and space observation suspensions, according to The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. Despite the threat being contained, the investigation into the incident's damage is still underway, said ALMA in a statement. Such an intrusion should not be downplayed even though the incident has not been seen to inflict major damage, noted Shift 5 CEO Josh Lospinoso. "Knocking one of the worlds most powerful observatories offline demonstrates that threat actors are dogged in their pursuit to disrupt, run reconnaissance efforts, or lift valuable data or IP," said Lospinoso, who added that human error may have caused initial compromise of ALMA's computer system. More threat actors have been targeting the space industry, with satellite internet provider Viasat being compromised by Russian hackers before Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

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