Cyber Attack on Satellites could spell doom to Australia

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The Australian Defense Force (ADF) is searching for ways to protect its space assets from cyber-attacks launched by adversaries and that’s because they like any other nation rely heavily on the space stations for weapons guidance, joint command, and control of military artillery and space-based intelligence.

Moreover, as nations like China and Russia are emerging with counter space capabilities such as co-orbital ‘soft kill’ counter-space capabilities, ADF fears that its satellites could be targeted any time with the help of jamming and spoofing equipment, microwave enabled weapons, laser dazzlers and the last but not the least cyber-attacks.

As cyber-attacks can be done at a relatively low cost, adversaries will try to achieve a high success rate with less expenditure like disabling the operations, disrupting it on a temporary or a permanent note, or hijacking it to provide false info.

An instance of Russia spoofing the satellite of NATO has already been witnessed on a recent note.

Thus, the government of Australia is taking measures on how cyber warfare in space could turn negative against its abilities to fight such attacks categorically in a broader way.

ADF has already started to analyze the impact and response to such cyber threats and in collaboration with US Intelligence is emphasizing on the need to formulate new, stronger legal mechanisms which help control satellite regime in future.

A 2019 defense white paper highlights the fact that Australia is playing a vital role in creating a space situational awareness by keeping an eye on optical and radar imaging from the ground.

The ADF paper suggests that Australia is aiming to keenly monitor adversary activity in space, and is intending to develop sophistication to intercept any attacks terming across the electromagnetic spectrum.