U.S. Government Issues Warning to Space Community

A recent bulletin was issued by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) to the rest of the intelligence and space community. The bulletin warns of the danger imposed by the increased frequency of cyber attacks and attempts to gain information on the private and public sectors of the satellite industry. This is especially important as the private sectors of satellites integrate more with our daily life and for government dependency on critical systems. Starlink provides a recent example on its usage in the war in Ukraine as an example of what could be expected in a conflict or even during peacetime from adversaries. Starlink has reported multiple cyberattacks and jamming attempts on nodes near the warzone. This is increasingly common and a cause for a concern going forward which this bulletin attempts to highlight.

This is obviously important in the realm of space cybersecurity because it highlights the increased risks in these privately owned spacecrafts, that on the surface, seem that there is no relevance to the geopolitical atmosphere involved with much of the world of cyberattacks. However, when diving deeper it shows how these attacks are a stage on what is to come. The issue primarily is testing capabilities on these less suspecting spacecraft systems in order to attack government spy satellites network and to gain access to technological changes in the quickly involving space sector. As the bulletin stated, it’s relevant as the private and public sector become more intertwined in daily life and operations. This proves the need for increased security and to take these attacks very seriously moving forward. It may be the biggest problem that faces the space industry at the moment as attacks become more prevalent.