National Science Foundation Shuts down Telescopes in Hawai’i and Chile
A U.S. national center for astronomy was struck with a cyberattack this week that hindered the operations of an observatory in Hawai'i and Chile.
The National Science Foundation’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory – also known as NOIRLab – published a notice on Tuesday night explaining that the lab had discovered an attempted cyberattack on its systems that morning. The attack forced the “suspension of astronomical observations at Gemini North in Hawai'i.” Located in Maunakea, Gemini North is one of the Gemini Observatory's two telescopes, with the other in Chile, and is an international science partnership between the U.S., Canada, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and South Korea.
“Quick reactions by the NOIRLab cyber security team and observing teams prevented damage to the observatory. Out of an abundance of caution we have decided to isolate the Gemini Observatory computer systems by shutting them down,” the organization said. Both the telescopes in Hawai'i and in Cerro Pachón, Chile have been shut down as the IT team investigates the incident and “develops the recovery plan in consultation with NSF’s cyber specialists.”
The lab did not say if the incident was a ransomware attack but said it had no impact on the infrastructure of other NOIRLab centers.
August 1, 2023
No cost values disclosed.
Type of Malware