A highly sophisticated cyber attack has taken down the world’s advanced radio telescope, halting the scientific experiments from the past few days. The Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array Laboratory in Chile was digitally brought down by a cyber attack on October 29th of this year, making it unavailable for the scientists observing the space.
The attack seems to be too deep as the official website and the radio telescope antenna were brought down offline, forcing the suspension of space observations from the past 5 days.
Currently, there is no news on when the space center will restore the operations of the radio telescope. But information is out that all the Alma’s 66 radio antennas spread in an array were damaged, affecting the total functioning of the observatory for many days to come.
NOTE 1- Alma Space Observatory became fully functional since 2013 and is working in partnership with European Southern Observatory, the US National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. It was the first space observation center to reveal details about the planet formation from stardust and also notified us about some violent solar flares emitting on nearby stars. Some details about Gamma-Ray Bursts taking place in Cosmic Radiation were also revealed by the Alma and, since 2019, have been working on detecting some unknown facts about black holes via Event Horizon Telescope Project.
NOTE 2- It is unclear whether the digital attack was launched by an adversary nation or is a state funded attack usually launched by the Chinese government to gather intelligence or break the ambitions of other nations.