Did Hackers Hijack a British Military Satellite?

That's what the news wires say, but in the world of computer hacking, truth is a slippery thing.

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The Reuters news service reports that according to a British newspaper, computer crackers have taken over a British military satellite and are attempting to ransom it back to the government. If the reports are true, the incident marks a new level of sophistication and audacity in the activities of cyberterrorists. But when you're dealing with computer hacking, where boasting and manipulating the media are as much a part of the culture as Mountain Dew, and where the real action goes on deep in the subdirectories of classified computer systems, can we really be sure of the truth?

The facts as reported are as follows: Two weeks ago, British aerospace authorities noticed an irregularity in the position of one of their satellites, a military communications satellite belonging to a group of four known as Skynet satellites. Shortly thereafter, they received an anonymous message demanding money in exchange for control over the satellites guidance systems. "This is a nightmare scenario," an "intelligence source" told Reuters. "This is not just a case of computer nerds mucking about," said another. "This is very, very serious and the blackmail threat has made it even more serious." MORE>>