Cyberpoaching could be the next big threat for endangered species

Poachers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the tools they use to hunt endangered species, including using night vision goggles, high-powered sniper rifles, and helicopters. Now, hacking into scientists' computers may also be turning into a real concern. National Geographic reports:

Hackers have broken into the websites of banks, news outlets, social media, and the government, but could key information on the whereabouts of endangered species be targeted as well? Possibly, say conservationists: An incident in India has some concerned that wildlife poachers could use the Internet as another resource for criminal activity.

In July, Krishnamurthy Ramesh, head of the monitoring program at Panna Tiger Reserve in central India, received an email that alerted him to an attempt to access his professional email account. His inbox contained the encrypted geographic location of an endangered Bengal tiger...

It's unknown who was trying to access the data, or if it was simply an innocent mistake. The forest department of the state that contains the reserve, Madhya Pradesh, has started an inquiry in collaboration with the police. Even so, the situation prompted Ramesh and others to consider the potential that online data about endangered species could fall into the wrong hands.

Read the full story at National Geographic.

Tags: Conservation | Endangered Species

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