General Question

_Whitetigress's avatar

How likely is it that the Allies have bugged the North Korean satellite to disposition itself towards earth?

Asked by _Whitetigress (4354 points ) December 18th, 2012

This CBS article explains what is going on

It mentions that the North Korean satellite is malfunctioning. My question is, how easy would it be to have uploaded a virus from here on earth? Unlikely? Would the upload have been traceable?

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8 Answers

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FireMadeFlesh's avatar

North Korea is one of the most difficult nations on Earth for Western intelligence agencies to operate in. They have a strong fibre optic communications network, which is much more difficult to hack into than wireless communications. They also restrict and closely monitor the movements of practically every foreigner in the country. While Western intelligence agencies undoubtedly have a presence there, I think the target of any sabotage attempts would likely have been the rocket itself, rather than the satellite, since the launch was widely regarded as a disguised missile test.

I think it is far more likely that North Korea is not yet technologically competent with satellite systems. They are obviously more concerned with the launch vehicle than the satellite itself, and the last minute changes to the rocket performed by Iranian scientists shows that they do not yet have the appropriate level of in-house expertise.

ragingloli's avatar

I think it is more likely that the allies helped with the rocket, to accelerate the manufacturing of the picture of NK and Iran as a “dire threat to the world”, to make the public more amenable for their future war of aggression against Iran under the popular “weapons of mass destruction” excuse.

elbanditoroso's avatar

That’s a great question.

But as @FireMadeFlesh wrote, it’s exceedingly difficult to imagine how Western intelligence got in there and somehow spiked the software on the N. Korean guidance system. I just can’t see it as a realistic possibility.

It’s far more likely that their software screwed up.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

More than likely it is the lack of technology smarts on the North Koreans and Iranians charging a per launch price for equipment.

zenvelo's avatar

If we’d been able to get into the North Korean systems enough to plant a virus, it would have been smarter to have it fail on launch. Now they know they can launch something into orbit, they just need to get better controls. It would be better to knock their confidence at getting something off the ground.

Plus, right now the satellite is out of control and a danger to other satellites.

RocketGuy's avatar

The launch environment would have shaken their electronics pretty good, then the temperature extremes in orbit would have finished them off. One orbit is about 90 min, so it would have gone from +250F to -250F a dozen times a day. => “It’s dead, Jim!”

Nullo's avatar

Bugs happen easily enough that I don’t suspect foul play.

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