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Thousands of ATMs Go Down in Indonesia After Satellite Problems (reuters.com) 21

Thousands of ATMs and electronic card payment machines in Indonesia went offline over the weekend, and it might take two more weeks before full service is restored, after an outage from a satellite belonging to state-controlled telecom giant PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom). From a report: Around 15,000 ground sites across Indonesia were affected by the problem on the 'Telkom-1' satellite, whose service is used by government agencies, banks, broadcasters and other corporations, Telkom's president director Alex Sinaga told reporters on Monday. A shift in the direction of the satelliteâ(TM)s antenna, which was first detected last Friday, had disrupted connectivity. Bank Central Asia (BCA), Indonesia's largest bank by market value, had around 5,700 of its ATMs affected by the outage, or 30 percent of the total operated by the bank, BCA chief executive Jahja Setiaatmadja told reporters. The Internet connection in some remote BCA branches were also affected, he said.
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Thousands of ATMs Go Down in Indonesia After Satellite Problems

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  • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Monday August 28, 2017 @10:40AM (#55097127)

    Imagine war against China or Russia, or another major player. One major cyber attack or satellites taken out (or commandeered for alternate purposes by the military).

    This could be us. ATMs stop working, Credit card machines stop validating. Fewer deaths and injuries, but perhaps financially more destabilizing for the majority of citizens than getting bombed during WWII was. ... of course we will get bombed too...and probably with nukes... but even the cyber, modern day tech side of things will be very disruptive to modern society. Imagine if no one had access to any money in the west for weeks- in a society that doesn't carry cash anymore. Looting, riots, theft, etc... all would skyrocket.

    • Looting, riots, theft, etc... all would skyrocket.

      Even the price of rockets would be sky-high!

    • by captaindomon ( 870655 ) on Monday August 28, 2017 @10:47AM (#55097183)
      Civilization is three square meals from anarchy. Always sobering to remember. And it's true - if you have kids, and they don't have food to eat, how long do you think you would maintain the status quo, before trying to find some way to feed them?
      • As someone who'd sit around a mortar shell crater during recess and who simply returned to class after another shell took out parts of the corner and roof of our high school gym (with no one in it at the time), while still having shitty but free medical service, working police force, rationed but working and continuously repaired electricity supply (all them shells) and water supply in similar condition, a working library, working (though mostly local) phone system, TV and radio transmissions... all while

    • what about ETC-toll fines can bill you the $0 fee / fine if the CC network is down and you can't reload your account? Just 1 trip from Chicago to atlantic city will can drain it and the gate free tolling in IL, PA, NJ will not tell that your account is under $0 at racking up fines and on the return trip you may be crashing though the gate in OH (do they have them on the main line?) or in IN (gates in the ETC only lanes)

    • amazon go will just let you walk out even when it comes up with billing failed after you are out of the store.

    • There are already government sponsored hacking attacks from both China and Russia against the US. I'm also unconvinced that it played no roll in the East Coast blackout of 2004.

      If things escalated to firing nukes at one another. Having them air burst over the major cities would cause EMPs that would knock out the digital infrastructure and cause the issues you describe while leaving physical structures untouched.

    • by Strider- ( 39683 ) on Monday August 28, 2017 @11:17AM (#55097357)

      As someone who was in the satellite industry for nearly a decade... But the reality is that very little North American, or European traffic goes out over satellite. Yes, gas stations and so forth are all equipped with antennas (look for them sometime, you'll see a hughesnet dish). This is primarily backup these days.

      However, the thing you need to know is that satellites have no security to them, they're just dumb bent-pipe repeaters. All that that someone needs to do to disrupt them is broadcast enough RF energy on the right frequency to drop the signal to noise ratio beyond what can be recovered.

      • Hi caption midnight. Still feel good about the HBO hack?

        • by Strider- ( 39683 )

          It was Captain Midnight, but no that wasn't me... And the HBO hack wasn't a "Hack" per se, it was just a guy with enough uplink power to override HBO's analogue feed at the time. With the way that modern digital transmissions work, the most you can expect to do is knock someone off the air.

          Probably 6 years ago now, I was working at my desk when I got a call from SES Americom (one of the major satellite operators) asking for some assistance. They were getting a "wildcat" transmission on one of their satellit

  • Thought (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Monday August 28, 2017 @11:34AM (#55097465)
    As we become more and more dependent on technology, we introduce what is tantamount to a single point of failure: electronics. If a terror cell were to detonate several well-placed electromagnetic pulse weapons, we literally turn the clock back over a hundred years. An EMP is significantly easier and cheaper to build, disguise, and ship. Maybe it would not even take that ... maybe all it will take is a cybercriminal to gain access to critical computing systems while government and industry is busy blaming each other, posturing, and threatening. Imagine if a cyberterrorist gained access to critical control systems at several nuclear power generation plants, disabling the safety systems, and stopping the water cooling system. The resulting explosion would make Chernobyl look like a camp fire by comparison. The delivery of nuclear weapon is rapidly becoming too expensive and complicated when there are cheaper options that could be just as effective. It would even be safer for the cyberterrorist because his tracks would be covered by proxy as a result of the ensuing chaos.

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson

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