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ISS Could Crash to Earth

Space was the one place where countries put aside their differences. It transcended politics for more than two decades.

Now, it’s in jeopardy.

Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, said it only had authority to operate for two more years.

Russia is a major player in the station. They operate key sections of the lab and carry out resupply, power generation, and even boost the station’s altitude at times.

With Space becoming more accessible, it’s becoming trickier to remove politics from the equation.

A good example is the planned lunar base Adtermis, which is scheduled to start in 2024, with designs to establish the base by 2028. It’s meant to act as a gateway for eventual travel to Mars and beyond.

China plans to put its own human presence on the moon by the 2030s.

But who owns the moon and governs its territory?

That question remains unanswered. We’re only able to look to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty as our framework for now.

Yet, the more than a half century old document needs a dusting off and likely more teeth from members to hold one another accountable as the space race heats up.

Cyber Security


Key Takeaways

  • U.S. infrastructure faced major cyberattacks in the past few years.
  • Oddly, Russian cyberattacks haven’t shown up in their invasion of Ukraine.
  • However, the threat always remains and much of the U.S. infrastructure remains woefully under-protected driven by inconsistent regulations and standards.

May 6, 2021 – Hackers launched a cyber attack on Colonial Pipeline, the biggest U.S. gasoline pipeline that services much of the East Coast.

May 30, 2021 – Less than a month later, cyberattacks crippled JBS Swift, one of the ‘Big Four’ meat companies in the U.S. 

Despite legislation passing the Senate Tuesday that strengthens cyberattack reporting, the U.S. is woefully unprepared for cyberwars peeking over the horizon.

Russia’s Cyber Attacks Nowhere to be Found

Headlines over the last week laid out the details of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with real-time details.

Social media posts kept viewers up to date on the latest movements.

Yet, cyber attacks were oddly absent from the conversation.

In 2017, Russia deployed NotPetya malware through Ukrainian accounting software, which spread worldwide and cost billions in disruptions and damages. The U.S. government suspects the country’s hand in meddling in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

Leading into the invasion, malware ate through Ukraine’s government and banks’ websites. Recently, a group of Belarusian hackers claimed responsibility for knocking Belarus’ railways offline.

So why hasn’t Russia deployed its tried and tested strategy?

A couple of theories have been put forward. Yet, they can all be wrapped into one idea.

Russia expected it would roll through Ukraine quickly. Doing so meant it had little need for cyberattacks, which would damage systems they planned to take over later on.

A top Russian space official recently said cyberattacks on the country’s satellites would be considered “a cause for war.” However, he denied hackers had hit its control center.

The Threat is Out There

Almost 40% of the U.S.’s electric supply comes from natural gas pipelines.

The Colonial Pipeline attack laid the U.S. infrastructure vulnerabilities bare.

Regulations for the industry are voluntary, letting companies operate that are woefully under-protected.

Cybersecurity company Black Kite estimated 28 percent of oil companies and 25 percent of the natural gas sector are “highly likely” to incur a ransomware attack, versus 17 percent of the electric sector in their 2021 report.

Powerplants, governed by the NERC and FERC, must meet 13 critical protection standards, 12 of which apply to cybersecurity.

Yet, a natural gas compressor station that controls the fuel flows into the plant isn’t part of those same standards.

The Bottom Line: U.S. infrastructure is in desperate need of a cybersecurity upgrade.

We’ve only touched on the energy end of things. Yet, everything from defense to traffic systems needs to be protected.

That’s why cybersecurity companies like Palo Alto Networks (PANW) and Fortinet (FTNT) have seen shares rise in the past several days.

This industry is expected to grow at 14.5% annually through 2026, making it one of the fastest-growing out there.

Consider protecting your data and finances if you haven’t already. A little security can add a lot to a person’s peace of mind.

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