The vulnerability of satellites and other space assets to cyberattack is often overlooked in wider discussions of cyberthreats to critical national infrastructure. This is a significant failing, given society’s substantial and ever increasing reliance on satellite technologies for navigation, communications, remote sensing, monitoring and the myriad associated applications. Vulnerabilities at the junction of space-based or space-derived capability with cybersecurity cause major national, regional and international security concerns, yet are going unaddressed, apart from in some ‘high end’ space-based systems. Analysing the intersection between cyber and space security is essential to understanding this non-traditional, evolving security threat.
Cybersecurity and space security are inextricably linked. Technologies in satellites and other space assets are sourced from a broad international supply base and therefore require regular security upgrades. And the upgrades via remote connections could serve to make space assets vulnerable to cyberattacks. In everyday life, satellites are regularly used to provide internet services and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) technologies which are increasingly embedded in almost all critical infrastructure.
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