Over the past several decades, and since the signing of the outer space treaty, space has been viewed as a sanctuary from geopolitical and military conflict.  Today, with changes in the military space doctrine of several space faring nations, along with the US proposal for establishing a separate space force in response to these changes, space is now transforming into a militarily contested domain. While earlier studies have highlighted how anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons could be used to physically interfere with a satellite’s capabilities, cyberattacks are increasingly recognized as a growing threat. Satellite cyberattacks are difficult to detect, generally do not produce space debris (which could threaten an adversary’s own space assets), and require a relatively low barrier to entry for individuals, groups, and/or state actors. When thinking about satellites, people tend to focus on the spacecraft itself.  When discussing cyber vulnerabilities, one must look at the entire chain of systems that are connected in any way to the spacecraft, or that are required for its operation.  Dimarogonas will discuss the different elements that comprise an end to end space capability to include the satellite, it’s payload, the end user terminals, the satellite operations center, any separate payload control centers and any systems that are connected to any of these elements. He will review the different types of threats to space systems, and focus on the different space related cyberattacks that have been reported in the literature to identify what are the most common targets in the chain of systems comprising different space capabilities.  Finally, he will discuss approaches to add resiliency to these space capabilities during the design, planning and operations phases and different international regulatory and policy changes that could help deter future conflict in space. 

 

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