Cyberattack Suspends Large Radio Telescope In Chile, Affecting Research

Cyberattack suspends large radio telescope in Chile, affecting research

A cyberattack has suspended computer systems of a large telescope with the world's leading performance in Chile, hampering observation by international astronomers for more than one month.

Japan is one of the operators of the huge radio telescope known as ALMA. It has contributed about a quarter of the overall facility plan. The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan says ALMA suffered a cyberattack on its system on October 29, leaving astronomical observations suspended even now.

ALMA was constructed by a multinational team and came into use for scientific observations in 2011.

The telescope is designed to observe radio waves with lengths of millimeters or submillimeters emitted from outer space to look into various astronomical events.

It has contributed to important discoveries, including through observation of black holes.

The Japanese observatory says ALMA plans to resume observations before the end of the year.

The observatory's Vice-Director General, Saito Masao, said he was shocked by the cyberattack. He said prolonged suspension could affect researches across the world. He added that Japan will work together with other countries to recover operations.