The Cysat 2021 conference held last week revealed the rising risks of cyber threats regarding new satellites and support systems.
Indeed, the conference, which brought together ethical hackers and security researchers within the space industry, stated that satellite systems were no longer beyond the reach of hackers due to their increasingly sophisticated techniques and to an easier access to space.
This is quite alarming as some systems still transmit telemetry protocols with no cryptographic protections and immature cybersecurity practices are still used within the space industry. Hence, with edge-cutting hardware, hackers could be able to track a satellite and break through its defenses.
The speakers at the conferences then urged the adoption of an onion-like approach with multiple layers of protection, compartmentalization, and redundancy as a defense against potential attacks. Besides, researches from McAfee also detailed how lessons from terrestrial security systems could be applied to secure space-based systems.
It is becoming more and more essential that developers incorporate security into their design. With the rise in sophisticated attacks and the surge in collecting critical data and delivering valuable services, the space industry is an attractive target for hackers and nation-state spies. There is then a new to build a European ecosystem able to respond to the current and future challenges of securing space assets, data, and services.