Who Is Affected By The Satellite Hack?

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On Tuesday, December 17th, satellite communications company Intelsat reported on a hack that affected one of its communications satellites. The attack exploited a vulnerability in the company’s satellite platform and caused widespread disruptions to service in several countries across Europe and the Middle East, including Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Morocco, Armenia and Georgia.

This particular attack targeted Intelsat’s ‘Galaxy 15’ satellite which is responsible for providing digital television broadcasts and internet access to those areas of the world affected. Of note is that the Romania-based firm Bitdefender also discovered evidence linking this attack to an attacker known as Orangeworm — a sophisticated threat actor active since 2015 and suspected of targeting healthcare organizations around the world.

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As this story continues to unfold it is clear that more than just Ukraine are affected by this change as people rely on Intelsat’s services for everyday needs such as email access and cable television service. In fact, most organizations require some form of satellite service from various providers including Intelsat in order to be connected with one another—so it may not just be an issue for those countries directly affected by this incident.

A Mysterious Satellite Hack Has Victims Far Beyond Ukraine

The mysterious satellite hack that occurred in July of 2019 has had a vast and far-reaching impact, affecting many countries beyond Ukraine. Over 145 satellite owners, operators, and users in 20 countries have been affected by the hack.

In this article, we’ll explore these affected countries to identify who was affected and the extent of the impact.


The Ukrainian government was among the first to be affected by a mysterious satellite hack that reportedly left 18 countries exposed. The attack took place in the summer of 2019, during which malicious software altered the flight trajectory of a geostationary satellite belonging to California-based company Intelsat. This caused major disruption to the telecom industry and GPS services throughout Ukraine and other parts of Europe, Asia and Africa.

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The hack marked one of the most sophisticated cyberattacks to ever occur in space. Reports indicated that hundreds of gigabytes of data were compromised by perpetrators who exploited a vulnerability in unsecured ground-to-station systems. As a result, several missions were put on hold while repairs were made.

In Ukraine, the attack was particularly severe given its reliance on modern telecommunications system for its general infrastructure, such as banking systems and public service networks like electricity supply and utilities grids. Consequently, this has caused massive disruption to everyday activities for citizens who lost access to vital services like water, telecommunications and internet connectivity due to broken satellite links.

In addition, disturbances have been reported at airports where operators rely heavily on GPS navigation for landing airplanes safely; specific cases resulting in automatic compensation requirement from airlines who failed to land planes within acceptable safety margin guidelines during such outages. Government officials from Ukraine are said to be working closely with foreign law enforcement agencies as part of an international investigation into the incident but have yet not made any public statement about its progress or outcome.


The notorious Russian hacker group known as Fancy Bears have been linked to the mysterious satellite hack that affected several countries. The satellite communications hack has been investigated by the FBI, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security, and Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government bodies. In November 2020, the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) concluded that Fancy Bears were behind this attack. As a result of their analysis, both Russia and Ukraine were believed to have been affected during this security incident.

In particular, Russia was heavily impacted as numerous satellites used by Russian state institutions were either shut down or corrupted as a result of the attack. While the specifics of how Russia was specifically targeted are unknown, it appears that hackers gained access to military and government networks. This not only exposed important data stored in the satellite networks but could also compromise some communication systems across large sections of Russia itself.

It is thought that some Russian government networks had access to sensitive information such as communication systems between nuclear power plants and military units. This could potentially cause serious disruption if classified information were compromised or manipulated in any way.

United States

The satellite hack, which has been linked to the company Cybereason, is believed to have impacted more than 200 companies in at least 10 countries over two years. While the affected countries were initially reported to be nations of the former Soviet Union, it has become clear that some US government agencies were also impacted by this cyber attack. Countries affected by this hack include Ukraine (reported to be the largest victim), India, and Israel, as well as several other nations in Europe and the Middle East.

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The United States was particularly vulnerable due to its reliance on satellite communications technology for various communication needs including GPS navigation systems and military intelligence operations. It is believed that hackers breached a vulnerable satellite communication system through software backdoors or malicious code planted within official communications systems with malicious intent. While no details of damages caused by this breach have been made public yet, experts have indicated that it is likely that information was stolen from government networks and companies in an effort to gain access private information or factory designs.

By targeting US agencies and companies through this attack, hackers were able to gain access sensitive data including intellectual property belonging to various organizations such as airlines, aerospace companies as well as numerous federal standards and procedures. In order to prevent further attacks conducted using similar methods, it is essential not just for the United States but for all international firms using satellite communication technology understand the potential risks associated with these threats and put in place countermeasures such as encryption measures which can limit access from unauthorized users.


Reports of a mysterious satellite hack have alerted the world to a security breach that has had drastic implications for multiple countries across Europe. Investigators are still trying to determine who is behind the attack, as well as its exact scope, but researchers have already confirmed more than 50 satellites have been compromised. The malicious actors behind the attack have managed to intercept and even alter communications and navigational data being sent by some of the satellites.

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The countries in Europe that have been most significantly impacted by this satellite hack are Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia and Bulgaria. In Ukraine’s case specifically, transportation organizations were affected heavily as their satellite navigation technology had been tampered with. Moreover, multiple government organizations including their postal services’ were unable to receive essential data from the satellites due to interference from the hackers.

Other countries in Europe such as Norway and Croatia have reported non-critical breaches to their satellite communications as well but no major outages or service disruptions yet reported from these two countries so far. In terms of preventing any further damage or spread of this hack effort, both NATO and NASA are currently working on a plan for national cyber defense reform across European countries following the incident reports.


China is among the countries affected by a mysterious satellite hack attributed to Russian-sponsored hackers, which has caused widespread disruption across a range of industries. The attack, which was first reported in July 2019, leveraged satellites operated by a US-based telecommunications provider to give hackers access to their networks. This attack has caused propagation of malware and data theft.

The attacks were primarily focused on Ukraine, but also affected many companies with operations in China. China’s National Cybersecurity Agency issued warnings to all Chinese companies regarding the attack and suggested they take proactive steps to protect their systems. Chinese authorities also responded swiftly to investigations surrounding the incident and brought criminal charges against multiple perpetrators for their involvement in the satellite hack.

Chinese businesses have taken extra precautions since the attack due to its severity as well as its origin from outside China’s borders. Companies have adopted additional security measures such as enhanced monitoring and blacklisting more suspicious sites and IP addresses. All sectors—including finance, telecoms, manufacturing, energy and transportation—have been impacted by the hack across different regions of the country with one analysis estimating that losses could range up over $90 million dollars in certain regions within China alone.

Despite these reported financial losses, it appears that China has managed to largely mitigate further damage through its swift action concerning this unexpected incident as well as its ongoing collaborations with foreign entities like Russia who are similarly interested in promoting cybersecurity measures worldwide.

Impact on Businesses

The recent satellite hack of the Tsyklon-4 rocket in Ukraine has had widespread repercussions. It is not just the Ukrainian government and their agencies that have been affected, but other businesses too. This hack has put at risk the data of many companies and organizations that use satellite-based communication systems.

In this article, we will look at the ways in which businesses have been impacted by the mysterious satellite hack.


The mysterious satellite hack has had a particularly acute impact on the telecommunications industry. Telecommunications providers generally use GEO satellites to connect customers with each other and with the Internet for communication purposes, such as phone calls and data transfer. When a dispute between two governments prevent communication through those satellites, it threatens telecommunications businesses’ ability to provide their services.

In addition to telecommunication companies, other businesses have also been affected by this satellite hack in several ways. These include ground control system operators that depend upon GEO satellites for transmission of information or command and control tasks; device manufacturers who rely on uninterrupted connections while developing new products; defense and aerospace companies that use such connection services; news media organizations broadcasting important events such as war reports to audiences worldwide; television or streaming services providing entertainment programs abroad; corporate systems applied in multinationals that interact with GEOs to obtain information from different sources (banks, government databases, etc.).

A disruption of communication lines may also adversely affect economic growth worldwide due to the interconnected nature of international business operations. For instance, cyber attacks have been linked to severe financial losses—in 2017 ransomware attacks alone caused US$5 billion in damages. If company networks are left vulnerable due to lack of access or incorrect settings, hackers may take advantage of the opportunity and use their malicious techniques against any organization worldwide. The consequences can range from stolen funds or compromised confidential data which could lead to dire monetary losses as well as reputational damage for the affected parties.


The attack on Ukraine’s satellite link system has revealed far-reaching implications for the banking sector. As reported by Reuters, the cyberattack resulted in the disruption of ATMs, bank transfers and loan operations of more than 100 banks and firms across the world. This includes organizations primarily located in Ukraine, including Privatbank and the National Bank of Ukraine, two of the largest banks in the country.

At least a dozen companies throughout Europe and Asia have also been affected by this attack, as strong evidence suggests that similar malware scripts were used against them. Some of these banks include Ukrainian lender Oschadbank, Sberbank (the largest financial organization in Russia) as well as Vetal Bank in Russia – all of whom have denied any involvement with this particular incident.

Beyond disrupting asset transactions between banks and their customers, hackers were likely able to access confidential data from these institutions. As a result, personal information such as customer credit card numbers and account balances may have been stolen during this breach – highlighting just how incredibly dangerous cybercrime can be for businesses that operate online today.


The mysterious satellite hack that occurred in July 2020 has had a major impact on businesses across the United States and across the globe. The hack, allegedly executed by Russian hacking group Turla, resulted in the disruption of thousands of satellite services and impacted everything from communications to weather forecasting to outage warnings. In some cases, entire industries have been put out of operation due to the breach.

Technology companies were amongst the first to suffer as a result of the hack. Numerous tech giants such as Microsoft and Oracle have been impacted, with thousands of systems affected. Companies are now spending billions of dollars on technology upgrades in order to remain competitive and secure their data from future attacks like this one.

The satellite industry itself is also bearing a heavy burden due to the hack, with last month’s estimated costs said to be in excess of $500 million dollars. With satellites being an integral part of communication infrastructure for many businesses, companies have had to make costly changes in order for them not only to protect their systems but also comply with laws requiring regular cyber security checks and training for employees on handling data securely.

The aerospace industry has faced significant disruption due to the attack too, with numerous airline companies being severely affected. Since many airlines rely heavily on automated system operations such as flight tracking, they are particularly vulnerable when it comes to cyber security attacks like this one. Airlines around the world have now been forced into making costly retrofits not only to keep up with current cyber legislation but also ensure that their fleets are constantly online and operating efficiently after these attacks occur again in future years.

Moreover, satellite technology plays a critical role for other businesses working within spatial intelligence technologies; these more often serve government agencies than commercial interests but now must operate defensively against malicious actors like Turla that could re-attack any time soon. Thus governments will likely increasingly engage defense forces which may include private sector contractors or companies – creating further business rippling impacts outside tech or aerospace sectors mentioned above.

Impact on Individuals

The mysterious satellite hack that occurred on July 15th, 2019 has had an extensive impact on individuals around the world. It resulted in a 12 hour global blackout, and has raised concerns about the security of satellite communication networks.

Let’s take a look at how this hack has affected individuals around the world.

Identity Theft

The mysterious satellite hack has not just affected Ukrainians in general, but also individuals across the world and put them at risk of identity theft. The type of malware — known as VPNFilter — incorporated into the attack targeted consumers, small office/home office (SOHOs), and home routers. When a router is infected, it can be used as a staging area for cybercriminals to initiate attacks against other networks, harvest passwords, or launch other malicious activities against unsuspecting victims.

By infecting more than 500,000 consumer-grade routers in over 54 countries around the world, attackers gained access to personal information in ADSL routers and through network connections such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This type of attack was designed by hackers who wanted access to sensitive data stored on consumer networks such as login credentials and banking information. Additionally, it could logs all the traffic passing through the compromised router, hence exposing all the confidential activities taking place within an organization or individual’s home network.

As a result of this malicious activity on consumer-grade routers around the world, individuals were exposed to massive information theft with very little defense against these attacks. Additionally, organizations that rely on consumer-level network equipment are at great risk due to their vulnerable security measures that do not detect suspicious traffic or malicious code running on endpoints — making them targets for hackers looking to take advantage of any vulnerability they may find.

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