South Korea’s Danuri orbiter demonstrates ‘space internet’ en-route to moon

This week I read the article “South Korea’s Danuri orbiter demonstrates ‘space internet’ en-route to moon”.  While it was a quick read it was difficult in parts to follow.  It discusses how the Danuri space craft “sent video and photo files to Earth on its way to the moon, the transmission occurred at distance of 1.21 and 1.28 million km”[1].  That is the difficult part to follow because at  “perigee the moon is 226,000 miles (363,300 km) and apogee is 251,000 miles (405,500 km) from Earth” [2].  This was used to demonstrate the feasibility “of interplanetary internet connections”[1].  Using a device “designed to be tolerant of disconnections which are frequently experienced in the space environment”[1]  the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI)showed that interplanetary internet is possible.  

            For the cybersecurity aspect of this article, there isn’t any mention of security in the article but the title alone generates an interest for anyone in security.  To me it was the idea that Wild West of the Internet meets the final frontier is a whole new aspect of security.  We are not just talking about space vehicles or OSAM anymore we would be talking about users or equipment keeping a network connection with Earth via space.   While there was no mention of data rate, image size, or file size of the music video it demonstrates the ability to send these files over a range “three times the range of current comminutions (380,000)” [1].  Also showing the communication is possible is another step that was needed as space becomes more and more commercialized (can’t mine the moon or an asteroid if it you can talk to the equipment), but it could represent another threat vector to anyone connected also.  To me the video stream represents a simulated live video stream, and the high-resolution photos are scaled down large file transfers (firmware/test results).  Even if an interplanetary network was created and only available to certain groups like the original internet (commercial, gov, academic) it would still represent a threat to information traversing the network.  IP theft is just as big of a concern for commercial space as classified information is for the government.   Maintaining the integrity of data is vital to scientific research.  It could also allow an attacker to access others info or even launch attacks against their equipment and infrastructure millions of miles away where there isn’t much you can do about it.  While these are hypothetical examples the idea of an interplanetary internet should also involve discussion on security.