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US authorities have finally confirmed that hackers attacked the U.S. weather system in October that led to a disruption in satellite feeds and several pivotal websites.
Officials of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, said that four of its websites were hacked in recent weeks. The government officials were forced to shut down some of its services to block the hackers.
The confirmation has made it clear that why satellite data was mysteriously cut off in October, as well as why the National Ice Center website and others were down for more than a week. During that time, federal officials merely stated a need for unscheduled maintenance.
Still, NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen insisted that the aftermath of the attack did not prevent them from delivering forecasts to the public.
Little more is publicly known about the attack, but hackers managed to penetrate what’s considered one of the most vital aspects of the U.S. government. The hacking was dangerous as the nation’s military, businesses and local governments all rely on nonstop reports from the U.S. weather service.
The impact of the hack was genuinely felt.: Scientists at Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Lexington, Massachusetts were unable to send a preliminary report about weather patterns to traders and investors earlier this year.
The cyberattack on the U.S. weather system is only the latest one on the United States. The White House was hacked last month.
Shortly before that, hackers breached USIS, a federal contractor that knows who has top security clearances for the U.S. government — because it provides background checks.
Typically, cybersecurity experts blame Russia for hacks on the nation’s infrastructure — or sometimes China.