The space industry receives a security directive from the White House amid attempted satellite hacks


Recent attempts to hack and hijack satellites became a wake-up call for manufacturers and operators of satellites to improve satellite-security, alongside working together with everyone involved under a White House issued policy directive. The Space Policy-Directive 5 stipulates that every manufacturer must design their satellite hardware and software such that operators can monitor, detect, and counteract to mischievous activities like hacks and hijacks. The satellites must have security measures and tools dedicated to regaining satellite control after being crammed, spoofed, or hacked.

According to the directive, satellite manufacturers and operators must comprehensively invest in ground station security to detect general risks that pertain to space systems’ cybersecurity. The memo outlined the need for improved cooperation within the space sector to facilitate the exchange of information regarding threats and warnings.

National Security continues to be alert against security breach of U. S. satellites. These security issues result from China’s rapid space activity, Russia’s pre-emptive Space plans like the on-going space-based rocket trials, and India’s experimental anti-satellite missile. Defense Intelligence Agency’s 2019 report showed that Chinese and Russians continue to invent jamming tools with cyberspace aptitudes, ground-based missiles with anti-satellite abilities, and guided energy weapons. All of these satellite-security threats hold power to cause both reversible and nonreversible effects.

Among all the threats, the most severe one is the suspicious cyber activity that disrupts space communications, regardless of whether the risk is directed towards satellites or ground stations. In a March 2020 report, the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) recorded increasing cyber threats and potentially physical dangers to U. S. satellites.

Todd Harrison, chief of defense budget valuation and a high-ranking member of the CSIS’s International Security Program, said that the White House’s policy directive is a significant advancement. Todd pointed out the need to set up excellent governance to give the policy a proper groundwork, leading the way for other countries to follow. For a country to become a space leader, a nation must demonstrate exceptional commercial space activity practices. It is critical for state security because it relies on privately-owned space systems for the military to develop its facilities. Brian Weeden, a technical consultant at the Secure World Foundation, stated that the anticipated communication seeks to show the results of an on-going process.

In conclusion, the implementation of the presidential Space Policy-Directive 5 truly is the path to curbing and mitigating the security threats. The policy plans to urge satellite manufacturers to finance innovative technologies that align with the vindication plan that seeks to safeguard Satellite-security.