Satellite outage renews security concerns
May 22, 1998
May 22, 1998
Web posted at: 11:47 AM EDT (1147 GMT)
-- When the Galaxy IV satellite failed Tuesday, shutting down national
paging services, radio and TV broadcasts and some bank and credit card
services, it pointed out how much Americans rely on computers.
Some questioned whether a hacker was to blame. That theory
has since been ruled out, but experts acknowledge it could
"There are risks that power grids can be shut down, that
fundamental communications can be shut down, that critical
services can lose their ability to communicate -- hospitals,
banks, literally our entire economy and so many services, "
computer security expert Jim Bidzos said.
Computer security experts say if there's a wire connected to
a device, there's a way in -- finding that way in is the
"It's an undiscovered field for hackers," said John
Vranesevich of AntiOnline.com, an archive of hacking-related
"It's something that hasn't been widely penetrated yet.
Hundreds and hundreds of military servers have been broken
into, but that's been done. It's a 'what can we do next?'
sort of mentality."
Bidzos added, "It's impossible to plug all the holes. So if
the hackers were to find a hole, the computer-security
practitioners will patch it, and then the hackers will find
another hole -- and the game goes on."
And no one knows how the game will end.
Correspondent Don Knapp contributed to this report