A new set of cybersecurity principles were recently issued by the White House to ensure its commercial and critical infrastructure investments in space.
The short document states: “The United States considers unfettered freedom to operate in space vital to advancing the security, economic prosperity, and scientific knowledge of the Nation.”
As the US focuses on this unfettered access critical to its future, it additionally increased the utilization of digital services and technologies delivered by satellites. The move was brought about as the focus of the White House goes beyond military operations in space.
The nation is worried about the effect of cybersecurity attacks against a scope of services delivered by satellite, for example, the global positioning systems. GPS is particularly significant, to military activities as well as regular citizen use.
The Space Policy Directive 5 details a list of suggested best practices for making sure that the information systems, netwoRk “radio-frequency-dependent wireless communication channels” that together power US space systems.
“These systems, networks, and channels can be vulnerable to malicious activities that can deny, degrade or disrupt space operations, or even destroy satellites,” the document stated.
“Examples of malicious cyber-activities harmful to space operations include spoofing sensor data; corrupting sensor systems; jamming or sending unauthorized commands for guidance and control; injecting malicious code; and conducting denial-of-service attacks.”
Among the suggested best practice principles was the utilization of “risk-based, cyber-security-informed engineering” to create and operate space systems, with persistent monitoring for vindictive action and of system configurations.
Other elements that will help ensure a good baseline of cybersecurity were mentioned as:
1. Protection against unauthorized access to space vehicle functions
2. Physical protection of command
3. Control and telemetry receiver systems
4. Measures to counter communications jamming and spoofing
5. Management of supply chain risks and improved collaboration between space system owners.
The document likewise included that such attacks could bring about the loss of mission data, damage to space systems, and loss of control over space vehicles such as satellites, space stations, and launch vehicles, which could lead to collisions that generate dangerous orbital debris.
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