Space Cyber Security Watch N°4 (June 14, 2021)




Find below the new Space Cyber Security Watch N°4 (June 14, 2021). In this paper, you will find everything that has caught our attention since the last time : news, articles, papers, Space CTI, videos, webinars, events, attacks, podcats … This work is not exhaustive, so comments and observations are welcome.



May 2021

June 2021

  • (EN) House bill would designate space as critical infrastructure. Let’s do this! Space needs to be designated Critical Infrastructure
  • (EN) General Atomics Partners with Space Development Agency to Conduct Space-to-Air Optical Communication Experiment. SDA and General Atomics have expanded the Laser Interconnect and Networking Communication System (LINCS) program to include space-to-air optical communication demonstrations. SDA and GA will now establish and evaluate links between space and an airborne MQ-9 Reaper, in addition to the planned space-to-space and space-to-ground activities. This experiment leads to a fight where airborne assets can fly without relying on radio frequency, providing Low Probability of Intercept/Low Probability of Detection and increasing capabilities for warfighters around the world!
  • (EN) SDA & DARPA: June Demos To Prove Optical Sat Link Capability. “Getting a laser beam on a spacecraft to point to a laser receiver on another spacecraft accurately enough with the right power levels, the right waveforms, etc.,– it’s not an easy thing,” said General Atomics VP Nick Bucci.
  • (EN) General Atomics to Demo SDA Space-to-Air Optical Communication. General Atomics‘ electromagnetic systems group has received a contract to demonstrate optical communication between a low-Earth orbit satellite and an unmanned aerial vehicle for the Space Development Agency.
  • (EN) SpaceChain Sends Ethereum Cryptocurrency Tech into Space. SpaceChain has successfully sent a blockchain-enabled payload into space on Thursday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from NASA‘s Kennedy Space Center.
  • (EN) US Military Places a Bet on LEO for Space Security. U.S. Defense Department agencies are working with a who’s-who of military contractors, commercial satellite operators, and technology companies to finally demonstrate the feasibility of a proliferated constellation of satellites in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO).
  • (EN) Hacking space: How to pwn a satellite. Hacking an orbiting satellite is not light years away – here’s how things can go wrong in outer space
  • (EN) Momentus Reaches National Security Agreement, Co-Founders Divest from Company. Momentus has made a concrete step forward with a after a turbulent few months dealing with U.S. national security concerns with the business. The in-space transportation company announced Wednesday that it has signed a National Security Agreement (NSA) with the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of the Treasury on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).


  • (EN) Autonomous Cyber Capabilities under International Law : New Book on autonomous cyber capabilities under International Law now available in CCDCOE Library
  • (EN) On Detecting Deception in Space Situational Awareness (James Pavur, Ivan Martinovic). This paper has been accepted for the 16th ACM ASIA Conference on Computer and Communications Security (ACM ASIACCS 2021), 7-11 June 2021, Virtual event. This paper offers one of the first considerations of defense techniques against SSA deceptions. Building on historical precedent and real-world SSA data, they simulate an attack whereby an SSA operator seeks to disguise spy satellites as pieces of debris.
  • (EN) New ESPI Yearbook edition. The Yearbook on Space Policy is an annual publication of the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI). p.93 you can find a small section on GSaaS (Ground Station as a Service).
  • (EN) An overview of protected satellite communications in intelligent age. Our focus is placed on the critical technologies and practical applications, and finally discuss remaining challenges and look forward to the future research directions. It is undoubted that the protected SatCom is one of the most important systems in military communications, both now and in the future.


  • (EN) Locked Shields 2021. Several Space ISAC members participated in Locked Shields 2021 and threats to space injects were considered because of their involvement. The largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defence exercise in the world, Locked Shields 2021 was organised by NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) from April 13th to 16th. The exercise included new cyber-physical systems and integrated technical and strategic elements, enabling participating nations to practice the entire chain of command in solving a large-scale a cyber incident. This year was unique from other iterations of Locked Shields in that for the first time the organisers will also be participating remotely rather than gathering in Tallinn as they have done in previous years.
  • (EN) Space Iceland May meeting with Berenike Vollmer, researcher on Cybersecurity Gaps.
  • (EN) CYSAT ’21: C. Beek & E. Carroll “Space 4.0: Another cybercriminal portal?”. Space 4.0 encompasses all recent trends such as GSaaS, SataaS or edge computing making modern satellites (almost) an extension of the cloud!
  • (EN) On Detecting Deception in Space Situational Awareness. Presentation Video from James Pavur (Oxford University) for ACM ASIACCS 2021



  • (EN) Mars Goes to Shell. About this Episode : Tim Canham, Mars Helicopter Operations Lead at NASA’s JPL joins us again to share technical details you’ve never heard about the Ingenuity Linux Copter on Mars. And the challenges they had to work around to achieve their five successful flights.
  • (EN) Space Policy Pod: Episode 21 with Sean O’Keefe (Former Administrator, NASA). Given the current real-world challenges confronting all of us, AIAA has joined the MITRE Corporation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to produce this podcast series to examine events and ideas affecting the space sector.

Past Events

Upcoming Events

This work is not exhaustive, so comments and observations are welcome.


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