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Cyberattack Shutters Major NSF-Funded Telescopes for More Than 2 Weeks

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The Gemini North telescope, located on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

Operations at the Gemini North telescope were shut down after a “cyber incident” was reported.

Credit: Slovinský/Wikimedia Commons

Since the beginning of August, 10 telescopes in Hawaii and Chile run by the National Science Foundation's NOIRLab coordinating center for ground-based astronomy have been offline due to a cyberattack.

Research groups have joined forces to identify alternatives to remote control of these telescopes to avoid missing critical observation windows. This includes sending graduate students to assist on-site staff at the Víctor M. Blanco and SOAR telescopes in Chile in making in-person observations.

NOIRLab detected the cyberattack on its Gemini North telescope in Hawaii on Aug. 1 and acted quickly to prevent physical damage, but it has released few details about the incident.

All operations at the International Gemini Observatory were halted as a result, and its computer network was disconnected from the Mid-Scale Observatories, preventing remote observations using its telescopes.

From Science
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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