News: Growing use of satellites not matched by improved security, warns Intel CTO.
While millions of people take in the new Star Wars film in the coming days, battles in outer space may actually be coming closer to reality.
Our growing dependence on satellites makes us vulnerable to cyber sabotage as many lack even the basic security of many small businesses, according to Intel Security.
The firm’s CTO EMEA Raja Samani said: "The proliferation of satellites, used to support our everyday connectivity and communications, makes this a growing attack vector. Indeed we have seen multiple examples of vulnerabilities within satellite networks, and this being exploited for criminal gain."
Just this year Facebook has announced an internet beaming drone, and Samsung announce 4,600 orbital satellite to provide global, cheap web access from space. In September, Inmarsat put its third satellite into space to supply mobile broadband, at a cost of $400m.
Samani says that already cyber criminals are "leveraging commercial satellite communications to hide their command and control infrastructure which is of course achievable as the level of security deployed on compromised satellites lack the basic controls of most small businesses."
He is calling on the aerospace industry to take this issue seriously and stop what he calls its "obsfucation" around security, dismissing as "a myth" the idea that satellites are impenetrable.
He says that "vulnerabilities have been documented and demonstrate that security by design principles have clearly not been adopted. We have witnessed basic vulnerabilities such as cached authentication credentials and the use of insecure protocols."