Cyber Threat to US Satellites says Pentagon

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Pentagon has issued a cyber threat warning to all satellites operating for United States that China and Russia are planning to take down their space stations through cyber attacks and not missiles.

Derek Tournear, the director of Space Development Agency (SDA) said that in the next two years, both the adversaries of North America are planning to take down the space crafts of United States used for communication and critical infrastructure management.

Thus, the plan of the Pentagon’s Space Development Agency is to deploy a network of satellites in parallel to the ones already operating in the space by 2024.

But Tournear’s concern is that these newly launched satellites will not be vulnerable to missiles, but will be susceptible to digital attacks. As taking down a space capsule on a digital note will prove more cost effective than targeting it with a missile.

So the plan is to deploy a proliferated network of satellites that can work independently when a few of them go down for reasons.

“Cyber and supply chain are 2 threats that I am concerned about”, said Tournear and added that there if the hackers disrupt few components in the satellites than it can put the entire network into jeopardy.

“So, it doesn’t matter if it is just one satellite or 1000 satellites, as one attack can take them all out”, says Derek Tournear.

Therefore, the plan of DoD is to secure the communication of these satellites with encryption and that too with those that have high bandwidth crypto units operating on board.

But what if the supply chain of components is laced with espionage filled malware…?

This is what Derek is extremely worried about as most minor components used in the operations of the space crafts are supplied by Republic of China and after they launched a bio war on the world through COVID-19 nothing can be disregarded…..isn’t it?

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security