Old IT systems, vulnerabilities of supply chains and other technological problems leave military satellite communications uninterrupted and potentially chaotic, “the research paper states.
The cyber security of space-based satellite control systems is urgently needed for NATO and its member countries to deal with, since these are vulnerable to cyber attacks-and unaddressed, a new thinktank on international business paper has warned that this could have serious effects on the world security.
Nearly all modern military commitments are based on space-based assets, providing coordinates for GPS, telecommunications, monitoring, and more.
The recently published Chatham House cybersafety paper on NATO space strategic assets warns us that the cybersecurity of such systems and the challenges that can be posed by a network being broken or attacked are urgently to be studied and addressed.
However, this can be difficult, as policy makers and policymakers are struggling to understand the full consequences of cyber vulnerabilities both in space-based assets and in strategic systems. The paper warns.
In an arena that relies on data accuracy and sometimes split-second decision-making, cyber attacks on these systems have the potential to create chaos. One way to attack the details of the paper is that of digital GPS spoofing, whereby an attacker intercepts and manipulates data to provide troops with false information and thus allows attackersto re-route forces movements.
“Cyber attacks can lead to havoc and degradation by creating uncertainty and confusion on strategic weapons systems.”
There is also the potential of deploying this technique to disrupt automated missile defense systems responses.
The report warns that the use of old IT equipment, the lack of upgrading software using patches to remove known vulnerabilities, potential supply chain weaknesses and other factors allow system attacks, which can be moved from a more openness to a section controlled by that critical infrastructure, via remote campaigns. The
The report shows, however, that some of the computers in the satellite controls are often not protected by authentication to prevent operational action. The report does not show that attackers are sophisticated.
This could, in theory, enable an intruder to gain access to the systems physically and either compromise them for later use, or change instructions there and there.
According to the Chattam House papers, “Russian space and its cyber technologies pose specific threats to NATO,” since the country relies rather than US GPS or Galileo in its own GLONASS satellite system.
In the end, this means that Russia can carry out cyber attacks on satellites without the risk of having an impact on its own systems. China also has its own satellite system and may operate similarly.
But this is not just an idea in theory, it’s already a reality; Chatham House points out that these capabilities were deployed in Syria and Ukraine during conflicts, with Russia using attacks to jam GPS signals from remotely piloted aircraft to ground them.
The Russian army has also reportedly attacked radio and telephone equipment with denial-of-service measures, and has tried to steal encrypted militant data which indicates that military satellite security should be addressed now and not in future.
The paper contains a long list of advice and suggestions for improving the cyber safety of satellites in NATO nations and urges policymakers in all countries to take the issue more seriously.
The Chatham House researchers Beyza Unal, a senior researcher with the Department of International Security at Chatham House, warned:„ The need to examine and tackle cyber challenges related to strategic assets in NATO and its key Member States is urgent,
Basic recommendations are to ensure operating systems and other software are up to date and are corrected against vulnerabilities and exploits that may interfere with systems, as well as comprehensive safety assessments at all stages in the supply chain.
The report also suggested that satellite workers would receive cyber-security training and that “it was prudent to assume that an adversary was already involved in these networks and focused on measures of resilience,” such as the use of artificial intelligence and machine training to identify and address threats.