Feeds

German space centre endures cyber attack

Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out

Security for virtualized datacentres

Germany’s space research centre in Cologne has been the victim of a co-ordinated and covert targeted attack carried out by state-sponsored hackers, according to a Der Spiegel report.

The paper's report says that last Sunday the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) contacted the National Cyber Defence Centre in Bonn after it found malware on machines used by researchers and sysadmins.

The attack was “co-ordinated and systematic” with some of the Trojans used designed to self-destruct on discovery, while other malware lay silent for several months before being activated, according to the report.

As for attribution, that’s proving harder to pin down.

Although Chinese characters have been found in some of the malicious code recovered and some “recurring typos” may suggest an attacker from the Middle Kingdom, this could be mere “camouflage”, an insider told Der Spiegel.

As such, the NSA can’t be completely ruled out, he said.

The news set alarm bells ringing in Berlin as DLR not only researches space and aeronautics systems but also “armament and rocket technologies”.

Given the United States’ pre-eminent global position in space exploration, it’s unlikely but not impossible that it would resort to such tactics.

China would seem more likely on first glance. This is despite the fact that Germany became the first foreign country to collaborate with the Middle Kingdom on its space missions when a DLR-developed SIMBOX project was carried on the Shenzhou 8 mission in 2011.

DLR signed a deal with China on co-operation in space as far back as 2008. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.