Saturday, 24 September 2016

On 11:55 by admin   No comments
Real-life Star Wars may not be only for a galaxy far, far away, an explosive new report finds.
A “radical review of cybersecurity” in space must be done to avoid potentially catastrophic attacks by rogue actors or states, including terrorists, organized crime or individual hackers looking to cause international mayhem, according to the report released Thursday by Chatham House, a London-based think tank.
“The vulnerability of satellites and other space assets to cyberattack is often overlooked in wider discussions of cyberthreats to critical national infrastructure,” the report reads. “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.”
Satellites, space vehicles and ground stations are potentially vulnerable to a wide range of cyberattacks, including data theft and data corruption, as well as more sector-specific attacks like cyber-jamming, cyber-spoofing and cyber-hijacking.
“Space-related cybersecurity gaps and weaknesses therefore need to be addressed as a matter of urgency,” the report reads.
Adam Meyers, vice president of intelligence at CrowdStrike, a California-based cybersecurity firm, confirmed a recent increase in activity against satellite-based systems, particularly of Israeli television stations in the Middle East.
“That’s the hotbed of these attacks,” Meyers told The Post. “They’re actually disrupting and hijacking these systems, not for intelligence interception per se.”
Meyers said cheaper, more accessible technology has also created a “lower barrier to entry” for hackers looking to do some damage.
“It’s increasingly more common to see these types of activities occurring,” he said. “It’s certainly something that warrants additional scrutiny by security professionals.”
To fix the vulnerability, the report suggests that an international “community of the willing” composed of governments and other critical stakeholders within the space and insurance industries would provide the best opportunity to combat the emerging range of threats.
The co-authors of the report told The Independent they hoped the changes would come from the space industry itself.
“The space industry is renowned as a forward-thinking, market-leading community and it needs to address cybersecurity urgently,” co-author David Livingstone told the newspaper. “What we need is an international community of the willing that would be tasked with developing industry-led standards in order to develop pace and agility in response to the growing cyberthreat in space.”
Patricia Lewis said some of the work was already under way.
“The fact that countries such as China are prepared to try completely new approaches such an quantum entanglement, and the European Galileo space navigational network has introduced new security measures, show the capacity and determination of the space industry to counter the cybersecurity challenges all of our countries face.”
A call seeking comment from NASA officials was not immediately returned.

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