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With Viasat Satellite Hack Officially Attributed to Russia by US and EU Allies, What Next for Satellite Security?

On March 17th, CISA and the FBI issued a Joint Cybersecurity Advisory for the SATCOM ecosystem, following the cyberattack on the Viasat Satellite system.  That same week, OODA Loop contributor Emilio Iasiello provided an analysis of satellite security in the context of overall cybersecurity:

“The cyber threat to satellites has been a longstanding concern and one that has, unfortunately, been mixed in with the myriad other cybersecurity issues facing the global community. As a result, it’s not surprising that satellite security has gotten lost in the shuffle, particularly given the need to prioritize and safeguard 16 critical infrastructure sectors.”

“But the recent Viasat attack shows the potential of what can happen when cyberspace and orbital space are intermingled, and while the Internet disruption will likely have a limited impact, it reveals how cyber attacks can be executed against these space assets to impact real-world operations. Satellites support several sectors and industries and contribute substantially to the global economy. Communications, Finance, Logistics, and Defense all rely on satellites to support their operations. Because of its increasing importance to sustain industries, the space sector as a whole is expected to be larger than oil in the next decade with an estimated worth of USD 3 trillion by 2050.  Reliance on satellite functionality will only increase in the coming years.”

State Department Confirms Russian Attribution in Secretary Blinken-led Press Conference

At the time of our initial coverage and Emilio’s analysis, the attack was not officially attributed. As of May 10th, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made the U.S. government’s official attribution known to the general public.

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Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira is research director at OODA. He is a foresight strategist, creative technologist, and an information communication technology (ICT) and digital media researcher with 20+ years of experience directing public/private partnerships and strategic innovation initiatives.