Cyber Security

Hacking a Satellite? It’s Surprisingly Simple, Says Experts

A lot of satellites orbiting over us are now vulnerable to cyber threats. Experts believe that the advent of cheaper high-power antennas are exposing satellites to risks. Today, hacking a satellite isn’t as difficult as you think. It is only recently engineers have started taking note of cybersecurity seriously in satellite design. In this article at The Conversation, William Akoto explains how hackers can control satellites and provides some guidelines to avoid the cybersecurity threat.

The Threat Is Growing

“Satellites are typically controlled from ground stations. These stations run computers with software vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers,” says William. If these computers are infiltrated, the hackers can effortlessly send malicious commands to the satellites. In other words, satellites are vulnerable to cyber attackers just like every other computer system out there. Currently, there are neither governing body nor cybersecurity standards to regulate and ensure security for satellites.

Here’s a Brief History of Hacking

According to studies, there are six known examples of hackers interfering with or commanding the unauthorized operations of NASA satellites before 2011. Over five of cyberattack incidents took place in 2007 and 2008. William explains, “In 2008, hackers, possibly from China, reportedly took full control of two NASA satellites, one for about two minutes and the other for about nine minutes.” Besides, the studies also revealed that hackers allegedly took over the US-German ROSAT X-Ray satellite in 1988. The hackers gained access to computers to computers at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

Regulations Are the Need of the Hour

Governments across the globe must adopt stringent regulations for cybersecurity and mandate the reporting of all satellite breaches. Additionally, engineers must rely on a more diversified and elaborate architecture for satellites.

To learn more about the cybersecurity measures and legal guidance, click on

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