Feeds

German space centre endures cyber attack

Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.