The space rush will result in tens of thousands of new assets launched within the decade, which will create a “truly enormous” cyber attack surface, said Sam Visner, a technical fellow at the MITRE Corporation.
By BRAD D. WILLIAMS, August 16
WASHINGTON: A space race is afoot, and in this brave new interstellar world, experts say concerns remain about the cybersecurity and resiliency — or lack thereof — for constellations of space-based assets and the global networks they enable. And with global investment in space exploding, the issue is not going away anytime soon.
“I’ve seen change over the past four years like I haven’t seen over the past 36 years,” Kevin Bell, senior vice president of the Space Systems Group at The Aerospace Corporation and a former Air Force pilot, said last week at an event organized by Booz Allen Hamilton.
Space-based systems proliferation is being driven, as well as enabled, by new tech, ranging from ships and satellites to 5G. The US military will rely on space assets as nodes in global networks to enable its Joint Warfighting Concept and All Domain Operations. In addition to defense and intelligence applications, space increasingly factors into vast swaths of global economies — shaping sectors ranging from transportation to agriculture — in turn making space progressively more of an economic security issue.
The increasing interest in space — once the limited domain of nation-states — is growing to include burgeoning commercial sectors in countries like the US and South Korea. Two billionaires made news last month for their trips to space on commercial ships, and some companies have already sent commercial ships to the International Space Station. Several companies are reportedly exploring space tourism, including one entity that recently announced the first space hotel will open in 2027. Rising commercial ventures into space will complicate military and intelligence space operations.
The space rush will result in tens of thousands of new assets launched within the decade, many running 5G, which will create a “truly enormous” cyber attack surface, said Sam Visner, a technical fellow at the MITRE Corporation and former associate at the Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which focuses on cybersecurity of space networks and assets.