Is Cybersecurity Strong Enough…in Space?

August 1, 2023

Introduction

Have you ever wondered whether our space satellites are safe?

No…not from alien attacks!

Safe from cybercriminal threats.

At the end of the day, satellites are just computers orbiting the Earth, sending and receiving signals from the surface. We rely on them for various purposes, such as communication, navigation, weather monitoring, Earth observation and scientific research.

Out there with the stars, human inventions still need cybersecurity! Just like computers and networks on Earth, satellites are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. These attacks can come from hackers or malicious actors who try to disrupt, steal information or take control of the satellites for harmful purposes.

What types of cyberattacks should we be worried about…in space?!

Why Does It Matter

Whether or not you’re cognizant of it, satellites play a significant role in our daily lives. For example, disruptions to communication satellites could lead to a loss of internet connectivity or disrupt phone calls. Attacks on navigation satellites could affect GPS services, causing problems in transportation and navigation. Damaging weather or Earth observation satellites could impact our ability to predict natural disasters and monitor the environment, too!

Unfortunately, experts have recently discovered vulnerabilities in certain satellite software that would allow bad actors unprecedented and treacherous access to our technology in space. They could hack that intelligence, disrupt operations or the connection with Earth, and even send them crashing into other satellites—which leads to other questions and concerns over space debris and long-term consequences!

In just three satellites, researchers found 13 different vulnerabilities. Many systems had not employed encryption techniques that would be fundamental in technology created today. Of course, these satellites weren’t made today!

Conclusion

While they operate in space, they are still managed and controlled through ground stations on Earth, making them susceptible to the same threats that you’re warned about in your Security Awareness Training at work.

Some common cybersecurity risks that satellites face include:

  • Unauthorized access to the ground stations or satellite control, which would enable a threat actor to disrupt satellite operations.
  • Communication signals between satellites and ground stations can be intercepted, potentially exposing sensitive information (especially when you think about who usually controls satellites—those are some important and well-funded organizations!).
  • Like any computer system, satellites can be infected with malware or viruses.
  • Hackers may attempt to overwhelm satellite systems with excessive traffic, causing temporary or permanent disruptions in what’s known as a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack.
  • Attackers can send false signals or information to satellites, leading to incorrect data processing or navigation errors, in a common threat known as spoofing.
  • Physical Attacks: While less common, physical attacks on satellites or their infrastructure in space can also occur, leading to a loss of functionality.
  • Supply Chain Attacks that target satellite components or software during manufacturing.

We rely on satellites more than we think. Wouldn’t you feel safer knowing that experts are doing everything they can to improve their security?

Thankfully, experts in the field are constantly looking for new ways to improve cybersecurity on the national level and in the private sector.

You can do your part in keeping our most important data secure by minding your Security Awareness Training, staying up-to-date on what cybersecurity threats are most likely to affect your job, and following along with latest recommendations given by security experts. Reading this blog was a great place to start!

References

Most Recent Post

Introducing

Our Exclusive FREE Cybersecurity Toolkit

Stay Secure with Top Free Cybersecurity Apps and Tools Recommended by PlanIT

In today’s digital age, protecting your online presence is more critical than ever. That’s why we’re excited to offer you our exclusive Cybersecurity Toolkit for FREE – to arm you with the essential tools and knowledge to safeguard your data and privacy.

Why You Need This Toolkit?

Protect Sensitive Information: Keep your personal and financial data safe from hackers and cybercriminals.

Enhance Digital Privacy: Shield your online activities from prying eyes and maintain your privacy.

Prevent Cyber Attacks: Equip yourself with the knowledge and tools to prevent and respond to cyber threats.

Peace of Mind: Enjoy the confidence that comes with knowing your digital life is secure.

Related Articles

iPhone Running Slow? Speed It up with One of These Tips

iPhone Running Slow? Speed It up with One of These Tips

Let's face it, iPhones are amazing devices. But even the sleekest, most powerful iPhone can succumb to the dreaded slowdown. Apps take forever to load and scrolling feels sluggish. Pretty soon, simple tasks become frustrating ordeals.If your iPhone has gone from...

Is Your Business Losing Money Because Employees Can’t Use Tech?

Is Your Business Losing Money Because Employees Can’t Use Tech?

Shiny new tech can be exciting! It promises increased efficiency, happier employees, and a competitive edge. It’s also necessary to stay competitive in today’s technology-driven business world.But that promise can turn into a financial nightmare if you neglect two...

10 Easy Steps to Building a Culture of Cyber Awareness

10 Easy Steps to Building a Culture of Cyber Awareness

Cyberattacks are a constant threat in today's digital world. Phishing emails, malware downloads, and data breaches. They can cripple businesses and devastate personal lives.Employee error is the reason many threats get introduced to a business network. A lack of...