Space Force coming to grips with cybersecurity threats

Space Force coming to grips with cybersecurity threats


A key challenge for the Space Force is how to assess cybersecurity risks, said Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting.

WASHINGTON – Satellite operators are dealing with reality that terrestrial systems and network equipment used to operate space systems provide many entry points for cyberattackers. Cybernetics and malware attacks can be carried out at a relatively low cost, making this type of weapon much more accessible than missiles or lasers.

This is a matter of growing concern for the U.S. Space Force, he said Lieutenant General Stephen Whiting, Commander of the Space Operations Command.

A key challenge for the Space Force is how to assess cybersecurity risks, Whiting said on July 7 at the Space Policy Show, hosted by Aerospace Corp.

“That’s what I’ve been thinking about lately: cybersecurity and how we measure risk in cybersecurity,” said Whiting, who has describes the cyberdomain like the “the soft belly of our global space networks “.

“Is a real problem and it’s a problem we’ve asked for and gotten help from the political community, ”he said.

He noted that the military is more comfortable with threats to physical security, while cybersecurity is a different issue that requires a non-traditional approach.

“At the base of the Peterson space force [Colorado] we have a fence around our facility, we have members of the armed security forces who are well trained on how to defend that facility, “Whiting said.” We have security cameras, we have security alarms, all in all. .We are quite comfortable understanding what our security stance is in relation to the threat outside the door, based on intelligence and law enforcement. “

He now contrasts this with cybersecurity, he said, “where we know there are countries that are trying to investigate us in cybersecurity, what we call persistent and advanced threat actors. We don’t have a similar idea of ​​how to measure our cybersecurity risk. “.

The Space Force is now looking to add more squadrons of cyber specialists to support military units operating communications, surveillance and navigation satellites. “WI have invested in cyber defense, “Whiting said.” We have a cyber workforce that is thinking about defensive cybernetics. ” of risk? “

The tactics of Russia in Ukraine, where hThe attackers were trying to penetrate Ukraine’s communications satellite infrastructure before the February invasion. they look like a playbook of how cyber weapons could be used in other conflicts.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, reported a blockade of Starlink communications near the conflict zones of Ukraine. And hackers infiltrated Viasat’s KA-SAT satellite Internet network, disabling modems that provided Internet links to thousands of customers in Ukraine and nearby countries.



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