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Download Full Movie Power Rangers (2017) English Subtitle

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Title : Power Rangers.
Director : Dean Israelite
Release : March 23, 2017
Language : en.
Runtime : 124 min
Genre : Action, Adventure, Science Fiction.

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‘Power Rangers’ is a movie genre Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, was released in March 23, 2017. Dean Israelite was directed this movie and starring by Dacre Montgomery. This movie tell story about A group of high-school kids, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world.

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Space Junk Collision Could Set Off Catastrophic Chain Reaction, Disable Earth Communications

Pentagon: A Space Junk Collision Could Set Off Catastrophic Chain Reaction, Disable Earth Communications | Popular Science.

 

Orbital Debris The dots on this NASA-generated chart represent known pieces of large orbital debris. NASA

Every now and again someone raises a stern warning about the amount of space junk orbiting Earth. Those warnings are usually met with general indifference, as very few of us own satellites or travel regularly to low Earth orbit. But the DoD’s assessment of the space junk problem finds that perhaps we should be paying attention: space junk has reached a critical tipping point that could result in a cataclysmic chain reaction that brings everyday life on Earth to a grinding halt.

Our reliance on satellites goes beyond the obvious. We depend on them for television signals, the evening weather report, and to find our houses on Google Earth when we’re bored at work. But behind the scenes, they also inform our warfighting capabilities, keep track of the global shipping networks that keep our economies humming, and help us get to the places we need to get to via GPS.

According to the DoD’s interim Space Posture Review, that could all come crashing down. Literally. Our satellites are sorely outnumbered by space debris, to the tune of 370,000 pieces of junk up there versus 1,100 satellites. That junk ranges from nuts and bolts lost during spacewalks to pieces of older satellites to whole satellites that no longer function, and it’s all whipping around the Earth at a rate of about 4.8 miles per second.

The fear is that with so much junk already up there, a collision is numerically probable at some point. Two large pieces of junk colliding could theoretically send thousands more potential satellite killers into orbit, and those could in turn collide with other pieces of junk or with satellites, unleashing another swarm of debris. You get the idea.

To give an idea of how quickly a chain reaction could get out hand consider this: in February of last year a defunct Russian satellite collided with a communications satellite, turning 2 orbiting craft into 1,500 pieces of junk. The Chinese missile test that obliterated a satellite in 2007 spawned 100 times more than that, scattering 150,000 pieces of debris.

If a chain reaction got out of control up there, it could very quickly sever our communications, our GPS system (upon which the U.S. military heavily relies), and cripple the global economy (not to mention destroy the $250 billion space services industry), and whole orbits could be rendered unusable, potentially making some places on Earth technological dead zones.

'disturbing' levels of cyber-raids

Top GCHQ spook warns of ‘disturbing’ levels of cyber-raids • The Register.

With a crunch conference on government cyber-security starting tomorrow, the director of government spook den GCHQ, Iain Lobban, said Britain had faced a “disturbing” number of digital attacks in recent months.

Attackers had targeted citizens’ data, credit card numbers and industry secrets, Lobban said.

“I can attest to attempts to steal British ideas and designs – in the IT, technology, defence, engineering and energy sectors as well as other industries – to gain commercial advantage or to profit from secret knowledge of contractual arrangements,” the eavesdropping boss added in his article for The Times.

According to Foreign Secretary William Hague there were more than 600 “malicious” attacks on government systems every day, while criminals could snap up Brits’ stolen card details online for just 70 pence a throw.

The statement was paired with the announcement of a £650m investment in cyber-security over the next four years, with both Hague and Lobbman arguing that industry and government need to work together to pull off a safe, resilient system.

Countries that could not protect their banking systems and intellectual property will be at a serious disadvantage in future, Hague told The Times.

The government could have its work cut out, though: security software maker Symantec today suggests that businesses are cutting back on cyber-security and are less aware of and engaged with the big threats than they were last year. Symantec was specifically staring at industries integral to national security.

It found that only 82 percent of them participated in government protection programmes, down 18 points since last year.

Symantec reckoned that reduced manpower meant companies had less time to focus on big structural threats.

“The findings of this survey are somewhat alarming, given recent attacks like Nitro and Duqu that have targeted critical infrastructure providers,” said Dean Turner, a director at Symantec.

“Having said that, limitations on manpower and resources as mentioned by respondents help explain why critical infrastructure providers have had to prioritise and focus their efforts on more day-to-day cyber threats.” ®

Satellite problem causes phone and Internet outage

Satellite problem causes phone and Internet outage – North – CBC News.

Posted: Oct 6, 2011 9:56 AM CT

Last Updated: Oct 6, 2011 10:15 AM CT

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A malfunctioning satellite is affecting long distance telephone and Internet service in communities across the north.

Northwestel said all communities across Nunavut, N.W.T. and Yukon that receive their long distance calling and data service via satellite are affected by the outage, which began at about 6:30 a.m. ET.

People in Iqaluit are reporting they are without cell phone service and long-distance calling, bank machines and debit-card machines. At least one bank in the city has not opened today as a result. Flights are also being delayed.

The service disruption appears to be due to problems Telesat is having with its Anik F2 satellite.

At the present time, the satellite is pointing in the wrong direction, away from the Earth.

Telesat is working to regain proper Earth lock, which may take 12 to 18 hours.

U.S. Defense Lawyers Are Crippling Nation's ability to wage Cyberwar

Cyberwar, Lawyers, and the U.S.: Denial of Service – By Stewart Baker | Foreign Policy.

Lawyers don’t win wars. But can they lose one?

We’re likely to find out, and soon. Lawyers across the U.S. government have raised so many show-stopping legal questions about cyberwar that they’ve left the military unable to fight or even plan for a war in cyberspace. But the only thing they’re likely to accomplish is to make Americans less safe.

No one seriously denies that cyberwar is coming. Russia pioneered cyberattacks in its conflicts with Georgia and Estonia, and cyberweapons went mainstream when the developers of Stuxnet sabotaged Iran’s Natanz uranium-enrichment plant, setting back the Islamic Republic’s nuclear weapons program more effectively than a 500-pound bomb ever could. In war, weapons that work get used again.

Unfortunately, it turns out that cyberweapons may work best against civilians. The necessities of modern life — pipelines, power grids, refineries, sewer and water lines — all run on the same industrial control systems that Stuxnet subverted so successfully. These systems may be even easier to sabotage than the notoriously porous computer networks that support our financial and telecommunications infrastructure.

And the consequences of successful sabotage would be devastating. The body charged with ensuring the resilience of power supplies in North America admitted last year that a coordinated cyberattack on the continent’s power system “could result in long-term (irreparable) damage to key system components” and could “cause large population centers to lose power for extended periods.” Translated from that gray prose, this means that foreign militaries could reduce many of U.S. cities to the state of post-Katrina New Orleans — and leave them that way for months.

Can the United States keep foreign militaries out of its networks? Not today. Even America’s premier national security agencies have struggled to respond to this new threat. Very sophisticated network defenders with vital secrets to protect have failed to keep attackers out. RSA is a security company that makes online credentials used widely by the Defense Department and defense contractors. Hackers from China so badly compromised RSA’s system that the company was forced to offer all its customers a new set of credentials. Imagine the impact on Ford’s reputation if it had to recall and replace every Ford that was still on the road; that’s what RSA is experiencing now.

HBGary, another well-respected security firm, suffered an attack on its system that put thousands of corporate emails in the public domain, some so embarrassing that the CEO lost his job. And Russian intelligence was able to extract large amounts of information from classified U.S. networks — which are not supposed to touch the Internet — simply by infecting the thumb drives that soldiers were using to move data from one system to the next. Joel Brenner, former head of counterintelligence for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, estimates in his new book, America the Vulnerable, that billions of dollars in research and design work have been stolen electronically from the Defense Department and its contractors.

In short, even the best security experts in and out of government cannot protect their own most precious secrets from network attacks. But the attackers need not stop at stealing secrets. Once they’re in, they can just as easily sabotage the network to cause the “irreparable” damage that electric-grid guardians fear.

No agency has developed good defenses against such attacks. Unless the United States produces new technologies and new strategies to counter these threats, the hackers will get through. So far, though, what the United States has mostly produced is an outpouring of new law-review articles, new legal opinions, and, remarkably, new legal restrictions.

Across the federal government, lawyers are tying themselves in knots of legalese. Military lawyers are trying to articulate when a cyberattack can be classed as an armed attack that permits the use of force in response. State Department and National Security Council lawyers are implementing an international cyberwar strategy that relies on international law “norms” to restrict cyberwar. CIA lawyers are invoking the strict laws that govern covert action to prevent the Pentagon from launching cyberattacks.

Justice Department lawyers are apparently questioning whether the military violates the law of war if it does what every cybercriminal has learned to do — cover its tracks by routing attacks through computers located in other countries. And the Air Force recently surrendered to its own lawyers, allowing them to order that all cyberweapons be reviewed for “legality under [the law of armed conflict], domestic law and international law” before cyberwar capabilities are even acquired.

The result is predictable, and depressing. Top Defense Department officials recently adopted a cyberwar strategy that simply omitted any plan for conducting offensive operations, even as Marine Gen. James Cartwright, then vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, complained publicly that a strategy dominated by defense would fail: “If it’s OK to attack me and I’m not going to do anything other than improve my defenses every time you attack me, it’s very difficult to come up with a deterrent strategy.”

Today, just a few months later, Cartwright is gone, but the lawyers endure. And apparently the other half of the U.S. cyberwar strategy will just have to wait until the lawyers can agree on what kind of offensive operations the military is allowed to mount.

***We’ve been in this spot before. In the first half of the 20th century, the new technology of air power transformed war at least as dramatically as information technology has in the last quarter-century. Then, as now, our leaders tried to use the laws of war to stave off the worst civilian harms that this new form of war made possible.

Tried and failed.

By the 1930s, everyone saw that aerial bombing would have the capacity to reduce cities to rubble in the next war. Just a few years earlier, the hellish slaughter in the trenches of World War I had destroyed the Victorian world; now air power promised to bring the same carnage to soldiers’ homes, wives, and children.

In Britain, some leaders expressed hardheaded realism about this grim possibility. Former Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, summing up his country’s strategic position in 1932, showed a candor no recent American leader has dared to match. “There is no power on Earth that can protect [British citizens] from being bombed,” he said. “The bomber will always get through…. The only defense is in offense, which means that you have got to kill more women and children more quickly than the enemy if you want to save yourselves.”

The Americans, however, still hoped to head off the nightmare. Their tool of choice was international law. (Some things never change.) When war broke out in Europe on Sept. 1, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a cable to all the combatants seeking express limits on the use of air power. Citing the potential horrors of aerial bombardment, he called on all combatants to publicly affirm that their armed forces “shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities.”

Roosevelt had a pretty good legal case. The 1899 Hague conventions on the laws of war, adopted as the Wright brothers were tinkering their way toward Kitty Hawk, declared that in bombardments, “all necessary steps should be taken to spare as far as possible edifices devoted to religion, art, science, and charity, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not used at the same time for military purposes.” The League of Nations had also declared that in air war, “the intentional bombing of civilian populations is illegal.”

But FDR didn’t rely just on law. He asked for a public pledge that would bind all sides in the new war — and, remarkably, he got it. The horror at aerial bombardment of civilians ran so deep in that era that Britain, France, Germany, and Poland all agreed to FDR’s bargain, before nightfall on Sept. 1, 1939.

Nearly a year later, with the Battle of Britain raging in the air, the Luftwaffe was still threatening to discipline any pilot who bombed civilian targets. The deal had held. FDR’s accomplishment began to look like a great victory for the international law of war — exactly what the lawyers and diplomats now dealing with cyberwar hope to achieve.

But that’s not how this story ends.

On the night of Aug. 24, 1940, a Luftwaffe air group made a fateful navigational error. Aiming for oil terminals along the Thames River, they miscalculated, instead dropping their bombs in the civilian heart of London.

It was a mistake. But that’s not how British Prime Minister Winston Churchill saw it. He insisted on immediate retaliation. The next night, British bombers hit (arguably military) targets in Berlin for the first time. The military effect was negligible, but the political impact was profound. German Luftwaffe commander Hermann Göring had promised that the Luftwaffe would never allow a successful attack on Berlin. The Nazi regime was humiliated, the German people enraged. Ten days later, Adolf Hitler told a wildly cheering crowd that he had ordered the bombing of London: “Since they attack our cities, we will extirpate theirs.”

The Blitz was on.

In the end, London survived. But the extirpation of enemy cities became a permanent part of both sides’ strategy. No longer an illegal horror to be avoided at all costs, the destruction of enemy cities became deliberate policy. Later in the war, British strategists would launch aerial attacks with the avowed aim of causing “the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilized life throughout Germany.” So much for the Hague conventions, the League of Nations resolution, and even the explicit pledges given to Roosevelt. All these “norms” for the use of air power were swept away by the logic of the technology and the predictable psychology of war.

***American lawyers’ attempts to limit the scope of cyberwar are just as certain to fail as FDR’s limits on air war — and perhaps more so.

It’s true that half a century of limited war has taught U.S. soldiers to operate under strict restraints, in part because winning hearts and minds has been a higher priority than destroying the enemy’s infrastructure. But it’s unwise to put too much faith in the notion that this change is permanent. Those wars were limited because the stakes were limited, at least for the United States. Observing limits had a cost, but one the country could afford. In a way, that was true for the Luftwaffe, too, at least at the start. They were on offense, and winning, after all. But when the British struck Berlin, the cost was suddenly too high. Germans didn’t want law and diplomatic restraint; they wanted retribution — an eye for an eye. When cyberwar comes to America and citizens start to die for lack of power, gas, and money, it’s likely that they’ll want the same.

More likely, really, because Roosevelt’s bargain was far stronger than any legal restraints we’re likely to see on cyberwar. Roosevelt could count on a shared European horror at the aerial destruction of cities. The modern world has no such understanding — indeed, no such shared horror — regarding cyberwar. Quite the contrary. For some of America’s potential adversaries, the idea that both sides in a conflict could lose their networked infrastructure holds no horror. For some, a conflict that reduces both countries to eating grass sounds like a contest they might be able to win.

What’s more, cheating is easy and strategically profitable. America’s compliance will be enforced by all those lawyers. Its adversaries’ compliance will be enforced by, well, by no one. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to find a return address on their cyberattacks. They can ignore the rules and say — hell, they are saying — “We’re not carrying out cyberattacks. We’re victims too. Maybe you’re the attacker. Or maybe it’s Anonymous. Where’s your proof?”

Even if all sides were genuinely committed to limiting cyberwar, as they were in 1939, history shows that it only takes a single error to break the legal limits forever. And error is inevitable. Bombs dropped by desperate pilots under fire go astray — and so do cyberweapons. Stuxnet infected thousands of networks as it searched blindly for Iran’s uranium-enrichment centrifuges. The infections lasted far longer than intended. Should we expect fewer errors from code drafted in the heat of battle and flung at hazard toward the enemy?

Of course not. But the lesson of all this for the lawyers and the diplomats is stark: Their effort to impose limits on cyberwar is almost certainly doomed.

No one can welcome this conclusion, at least not in the United States. The country has advantages in traditional war that it lacks in cyberwar. Americans are not used to the idea that launching even small wars on distant continents may cause death and suffering at home. That is what drives the lawyers — they hope to maintain the old world. But they’re being driven down a dead end.

If America wants to defend against the horrors of cyberwar, it needs first to face them, with the candor of a Stanley Baldwin. Then the country needs to charge its military strategists, not its lawyers, with constructing a cyberwar strategy for the world we live in, not the world we’d like to live in.

That strategy needs both an offense and a defense. The offense must be powerful enough to deter every adversary with something to lose in cyberspace, so it must include a way to identify attackers with certainty. The defense, too, must be realistic, making successful cyberattacks more difficult and less effective because resilience and redundancy has been built into U.S. infrastructure.

Once the United States has a strategy for winning a cyberwar, it can ask the lawyers for their thoughts. But it can’t be done the other way around.

In 1941, the British sent their most modern battleship, the Prince of Wales, to Southeast Asia to deter a Japanese attack on Singapore. For 150 years, having the largest and most modern navy was all that was needed to project British power around the globe. Like the American lawyers who now oversee defense and intelligence, British admirals preferred to believe that the world had not changed. It took Japanese bombers 10 minutes to put an end to their fantasy, to the Prince of Wales, and to hundreds of brave sailors’ lives.

We should not wait for our own Prince of Wales moment in cyberspace.

Mitsubishi Victim of Chinese cyber attack

BBC News – Japan defence firm Mitsubishi Heavy in cyber attack.

Japan’s top weapons maker has confirmed it was the victim of a cyber attack reportedly targeting data on missiles, submarines and nuclear power plants.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) said viruses were found on more than 80 of its servers and computers last month.

The government said it was not aware of any leak of sensitive information.

But the defence ministry has demanded MHI carry out a full investigation. Officials were angered after learning of the breach from local media reports.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Japan’s defence minister Yasuo Ichikawa said the cyber attackers had not succeeded in accessing any important information but MHI would be instructed “to undertake a review of their information control systems”.

“The ministry will continue to monitor the problem and conduct investigations if necessary,” Mr Ichikawa added.

All government contractors are obliged to inform ministers promptly of any breach of sensitive or classified information.

Analysis

The Ministry of Defence has said the delay in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries informing it of the cyber attack is “regrettable” – a bland term regularly deployed by Japanese bureaucrats to describe everything from near indifference to utter outrage.

But it is clear there is concern in Japan about security at the country’s biggest defence contractor.

Mitsubishi Heavy makes everything from warships to missiles. The giant company says it discovered the breach in mid- August, and informed the Japanese police at the end of the month.

But the defence ministry was not told until Monday afternoon, after reports had appeared in local media.

The key issue is just how serious the attack was – and whether any of Japan’s defence secrets have leaked.

Mitsubishi Heavy says the virus was confined to just 45 servers and 38 computer terminals – out of the many thousands it operates.

An ongoing internal investigation has found only network information, such as IP addresses, has been compromised.

“It’s up to the defence ministry to decide whether or not the information is important. That is not for Mitsubishi Heavy to decide. A report should have been made,” a defence ministry spokesman was earlier quoted by Reuters as saying.

Better protection

The online attacks – which are believed to be the first of their kind against Japan’s defence industry – originated outside the company’s computer network, MHI said.

They have been described as spear phishing attacks – when hackers send highly customised and specifically targeted messages aimed at tricking people into visiting a fake webpage and giving away login details.

Neither the Japanese government nor MHI have said who may be responsible. A report in one Japanese newspaper said Chinese language script was detected in the attack against MHI.

But China rebuffed suggestions it could be behind the attacks.

“China is one of the main victims of hacking… Criticising China as being the source of hacking attacks not only is baseless, it is also not beneficial for promoting international co-operation for internet security,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

China has in the past been accused of carrying out online attacks on foreign government agencies and firms.

Beijing routinely denies that it is behind this kind of hacking but, says the BBC’s Defence Correspondent Jonathan Marcus, the US military is more and more concerned about China’s abilities in this field.

Fear of the “cyber-dragon” is driving forward a fundamental re-think of US policy which is coming more and more to regard computer hacking as a potential act of war, our correspondent adds.

MHI confirmed that 45 of its servers and 38 computers were infected by at least eight viruses.

The viruses targeted a shipyard in Nagasaki, where destroyers are built, and a facility in Kobe that manufactures submarines and parts for nuclear power stations, public broadcaster NHK reported.

A plant in Nagoya, where the company designs and builds guidance and propulsion systems for rockets and missiles, was also reportedly compromised.

MHI said it had consulted the Tokyo police department and was carrying out an investigation alongside security experts, which should be concluded by the end of the month.

Lockheed case

A second defence contractor, IHI, which supplies engine parts for military aircraft, said it had also been targeted.

IHI said it had been receiving emails containing viruses for months, but its security systems had prevented infection.

There are also reports that Japanese government websites, including the cabinet office and a video distribution service, have been hit by distributed denial-of-service attacks.

A typical DDoS attack involves hundreds or thousands of computers, under the control of hackers, bombarding an organisation’s website with so many hits that it collapses.

Last month, a Japanese defence white paper urged better protection against cyber attacks after US defence contractors were hit by a spate of assaults.

One of the most high-profile cases involved Lockheed Martin – the world’s biggest aerospace company, which makes F-16, F-22 and F-35 fighter jets as well as warships.

Although the firm said none of its programmes were compromised in the attack in May, it prompted other defence contractors to assess their own security measures.

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Mega space storm would kill satellites for a decade

Mega space storm would kill satellites for a decade – space – 13 September 2011 – New Scientist.

A MAJOR solar storm would not only damage Earth’s infrastructure, it could also leave a legacy of radiation that keeps killing satellites for years.

When the sun belches a massive cloud of charged particles at Earth, it can damageMovie Camera our power grids and fry satellites’ electronics. But that’s not all. New calculations suggest that a solar megastorm could create a persistent radiation problem in low-Earth orbit, disabling satellites for up to a decade after the storm first hit.

It would do this by destroying a natural buffer against radiation – a cloud of charged particles, or plasma, that normally surrounds Earth out to a distance of four times the planet’s radius.

The relatively high density of plasma in the cloud prevents the formation of electromagnetic waves that would otherwise accelerate electrons to high speeds, turning them into a form of radiation. This limits the amount of radiation in the innermost of two radiation belts that surround Earth.

But solar outbursts can erode the cloud. In October 2003, a major outburst whittled the cloud down so that it only extended to two Earth radii. A repeat of a huge outburst that occurred in 1859 – which is expected – would erode the cloud to almost nothing.

Yuri Shprits of the University of California in Los Angeles led a team that simulated how such a large storm would affect the radiation around Earth.

They found that in the absence of the cloud, electromagnetic waves accelerated large numbers of electrons to high speed in Earth’s inner radiation belt, causing a huge increase in radiation there. The inner radiation belt is densest at about 3000 kilometres above Earth’s equator, which is higher than low-Earth orbit. But the belt hugs Earth more tightly above high latitude regions, overlapping with satellites in low-Earth orbit.

Speeding electrons cause electric charge to accumulate on satellite electronics, prompting sparks and damage. Increasing the number of speeding electrons would drastically shorten the lifetime of a typical satellite, the team calculates (Space Weather, DOI: 10.1029/2011sw000662).

The researchers say that the destructive radiation could hang about for a long time, spiralling around Earth’s magnetic field lines. In 1962, a US nuclear test carried out in space flooded low-Earth orbit with radiation that lasted a decade and probably ruined several satellites.

“When you get this radiation that far in, it tends to be quite long-lived and very persistent,” says Ian Mann of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, who was not involved in the study.

Thicker metal shielding around satellite electronics would help, says Shprits. The persistent radiation would also be hazardous for astronauts and electronics on the International Space Station.

Space Junk Problem Is Waxing Threat

Space Junk Problem Is More Threatening Than Ever, Report Warns | NASA’s Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Programs | National Research Council Report | Space.com.

An artist's illustration of a satellite collision that destroys a spacecraft in orbit.
An artist’s illustration of a satellite collision from space debris in orbit. Space traffic accidents only beget more such accidents.
CREDIT: European Space Agency

There is so much junk in space that collisions could start to increase exponentially, leading to a continuously growing pile of rubble in orbit, a new report warns.

The independent report, released today (Sept. 1), surveyed NASA’s work to meet the threat of space debris. It was sponsored by NASA, and conducted by the National Research Council, a nonprofit science policy organization.

Space debris — an accumulation of broken satellites, spent rocket stages and other junk in orbit — is dangerous because it could hit and damage working satellites, as well as spacecraft like the International Space Station. [Worst Space Debris Events of All Time]

 

Furthermore, when two pieces of junk collide, they can break apart into many smaller pieces, significantly increasing the amount of debris in space. This happened, for example, in the 2009 crash of a U.S. Iridium communications satellite and a broken Russian spacecraft.

It’s a problem that will likely become more visible, and urgent, over time.

 

Kessler Syndrome

“Space is becoming essential to our current civilization,” Donald Kessler, chairman of the report committee and retired head of NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office, told SPACE.com. “If for any reason we weren’t able to use satellites as easily as we do today, there would be a reduction in the standard of living.”

The situation we’re in now is called the Kessler Syndrome, a term named after Kessler, in which the amount of debris has reached a critical threshold. There is now enough orbital debris that collisions will cause a continual cascade, with each adding to the total amount of debris and increasing the chances of further collisions, according to several studies, Kessler said.

“Even if we add nothing else to orbit, the amount of debris could continue to increase as a result of random collisions between fairly large objects,” Kessler said. “You’d generate debris faster than the natural decay process could return it.”

Budget woes

But while the dangers posed by growing orbital detritus are increasing, NASA’s budget and management structure has not kept pace, the new report found.

“The program really started from the ground up and has expanded over the last 35 years considerably, and has a lot more facets to it,” Kessler said. “Its responsibility keeps increasing, but the management and funding just has not kept up with the program.”

Another complication is the fact that most of NASA’s space debris programs consist of a single staff member.

“If anyone retires or moves you have a pretty large gap,” Kessler said. “There’s usually just one civil servant that’s been charged with a whole bunch of things.”

Primary among the report’s recommendations is for NASA to come up with a strategic plan to prioritize the areas within its micrometeoroid and orbital debris program that deserve the most funding and attention.

This computer illustration depicts the density of space junk around Earth in low-Earth orbit.
This computer illustration depicts the density of space junk around Earth in low-Earth orbit.
CREDIT: ESA

Crunching the numbers

The report also highlighted the need for NASA to spearhead the gathering of urgently needed data in several areas to improve scientific models and predictions of the effect of debris collisions. For example, the committee recommended that NASA study the differences in how various types of spacecraft behave and break up during a collision.

The report also recommends that NASA help establish a better database of information about spacecraft anomalies. Too often companies don’t share details about problems that occur on their satellites, often for proprietary reasons. But this information is important for calculations about how spacecraft fail and become uncontrollable.

Kessler suggested that an anonymous registry would allow companies to share information without attaching their names to the data.

Currently, NASA’s programs focus on studying and tracking orbital debris. At some point, however, it will likely become necessary to somehow remove especially risky pieces of junk from orbit. That will require technology that doesn’t exist yet.

“The program has been very good at identifying the need to clean space, but in terms of the how-you-do-it part, the technology required is going to require quite a lot of work,” Kessler said.

You can follow SPACE.com senior writer Clara Moskowitz on Twitter @ClaraMoskowitz. Follow SPACE.com for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Global cyber-espionage operation uncovered

Global cyber-espionage operation uncovered | InSecurity Complex – CNET News.

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Shady RAT intrusions in 2008

Shady RAT intrusions were rampant in 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympics. (Click image for a large, readable version.)

(Credit: McAfee)

A widespread cyber-espionage campaign stole government secrets, sensitive corporate documents, and other intellectual property for five years from more than 70 public and private organizations in 14 countries, according to the McAfee researcher who uncovered the effort.

The campaign, dubbed “Operation Shady RAT” (RAT stands for “remote access tool”) was discovered by Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of threat research at the cyber-security firm McAfee. Vanity Fair‘s Michael Joseph Gross was first to write about the findings. The targets cut across industries, including government, defense, energy, electronics, media, real estate, agriculture, and construction. The governments hit include the U.S., Canada, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, and India.

While most of the targets have removed the malware, the operation continues, according to McAfee. The company learned of the campaign in March while investigating a command-and-control operation it had discovered in 2009, but traced the activity back to 2006, Alperovitch said in a conference call. McAfee was able to gain control of the command-and-control server and monitor the activity.

Alperovitch said he had briefed senior White House officials, government agencies in the U.S. and other countries, and U.S. congressional staff. He also has notified the victims and is working with U.S. law enforcement agencies on the investigation, including shutting down the command-and-control server.

“We actually know of hundreds if not thousands of these servers also used by this actor,” he said in the conference call. “The entire economy is impacted by these intrusions. Every sector of the economy is effectively owned persistently and intellectual property is going out the door…It will have an impact on our jobs, the competitiveness of our industries, and on our overall economy.”

 

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Typically, a target would get compromised when an employee with necessary access to information received a targeted spear-phishing e-mail containing an exploit that would trigger a download of the implant malware when opened on an unpatched system. The malware would execute and initiate a backdoor communication channel to the command-and-control server, Alperovitch wrote in the report, which was posted to the McAfee blog.

“This would be followed by live intruders jumping on to the infected machine and proceeding to quickly escalate privileges and move laterally within the organization to establish new persistent footholds via additional compromised machines running implant malware, as well as targeting for quick exfiltration the key data they came for,” Alperovitch wrote.

“Having investigated intrusions such as Operation Aurora [which targeted Google and others] and Night Dragon (systemic long-term compromise of Western oil and gas industry), as well as numerous others that have not been disclosed publicly, I am convinced that every company in every conceivable industry with significant size and valuable intellectual property and trade secrets has been compromised (or will be shortly), with the great majority of the victims rarely discovering the intrusion or its impact,” Alperovitch wrote. “In fact, I divide the entire set of Fortune Global 2000 firms into two categories: those that know they’ve been compromised and those that don’t yet know.”

Unlike recent denial-of-service attacks and data breaches from groups like Anonymous and LulzSec (see chart of recent attacks), these espionage cases are more persistent, insidious, and threatening, and they cause much more harm, revealing important research and development information that can help countries better compete in markets, according to Alperovitch.

 

“I divide the entire set of Fortune Global 2000 firms into two categories: those that know they’ve been compromised and those that don’t yet know.”

–Dmitri Alperovitch, VP, McAfee

“What we have witnessed over the past five to six years has been nothing short of a historically unprecedented transfer of wealth — closely guarded national secrets (including from classified government networks), source code, bug databases, email archives, negotiation plans and exploration details for new oil and gas field auctions, document stores, legal contracts, SCADA configurations, design schematics and much more has ‘fallen off the truck’ of numerous, mostly Western companies and disappeared in the ever-growing electronic archives of dogged adversaries,” he wrote.

“What is happening to all this data — by now reaching petabytes as a whole — is still largely an open question,” he continued. “However, if even a fraction of it is used to build better competing products or beat a competitor at a key negotiation (due to having stolen the other team’s playbook), the loss represents a massive economic threat not just to individual companies and industries but to entire countries that face the prospect of decreased economic growth in a suddenly more competitive landscape and the loss of jobs in industries that lose out to unscrupulous competitors in another part of the world, not to mention the national security impact of the loss of sensitive intelligence or defense information.”

It’s unclear exactly who is behind the operation, but Alperovitch believes it is state-sponsored, although he declined to speculate which country might be responsible.

An educated guess might be China, given the targets. They include organizations in the U.S., most countries in Southeast Asia, but none in China, and many defense contractors. Also attacked were the United Nations, the World Anti-doping Agency, and the International Olympic Committee and Olympic committees in three countries, which were targeted right before and after the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, according to the report. China has disputed allegations that it has engaged in cyber espionage or attacks in the past.

“The presence of political non-profits, such as the private western organization focused on promotion of democracy around the globe or U.S. national security think tank is also quite illuminating,” Alperovitch wrote.

The report has a chart that lists all 72 targets; most are not named but are listed by type and country or location, along with country of origin, start date of the initial compromise, and duration of the intrusions. There is also a fascinating timeline that shows each intrusion and its duration by year.

Espionage goes on all the time, but it’s not often that details surface publicly. Several weeks ago security firm Invincea disclosed information about a spear-phishing campaign that was targeting the U.S. defense industry. In that case the e-mail purported to come from the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and used an Excel spreadsheet with defense contacts as bait, Invincea Chief Executive Anup Ghosh said in an interview today. More details are on the Invincea blog..

Researchers have to be careful in disclosing information about foreign cyber-espionage campaigns so they don’t compromise surveillance and investigations the U.S. government might be conducting related to those operations, Ghosh said.

“We couldn’t tie the operation to a nation-state, like McAfee did,” he said.

Updated August 3 at 6:30 a.m. PT with details from the McAfee report, at 9:58 a.m. PT with details from a conference call, and at 11:56 a.m. PT to clarify timing of McAfee investigation and include Invincea disclosing espionage campaign.