Race to provide global internet service makes cyber security a top priority for commercial satellites

Feb. 25, 2020
Hackers could shut satellites down, or jam or spoof signals to critical infrastructure like electric grids, water, and transportation.

HAWTHORNE, Calif. – Last month, SpaceX became the operator of the world’s largest active constellation of satellites. As of the end of January, the company had 242 satellites orbiting the planet with plans to launch 42,000 over the next decade. Fifth Domain reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

25 Feb. 2020 -- This is part of its ambitious project to provide internet access across the globe. The race to put satellites in space is on, with Amazon, U.K.-based OneWeb, and other companies chomping at the bit to place thousands of satellites in orbit in the coming months.

These new satellites have the potential to revolutionize many aspects of everyday life – from bringing internet access to remote corners of the globe to monitoring the environment and improving global navigation systems. Amid all the fanfare, a critical danger has flown under the radar: the lack of cyber security standards and regulations for commercial satellites, in the U.S. and internationally.

As a scholar who studies cyber conflict, I’m keenly aware that this, coupled with satellites’ complex supply chains and layers of stakeholders, leaves them highly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Related: DARPA to brief industry on developing artificial intelligence and cyber security for military satellites

Related: Air Force to capitalize on growing commercial satellite communications infrastructure for tactical internet

Related: Optimizing cyber security and trusted computing on today’s connected military and commercial aircraft

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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