SpaceSec Whitepaper: Science and Engineering Foundations for Space Cybersecurity

16 Apr 2021 • Written by ovabor

SpaceSec: The Future of Space Cyber

The landing page for the SpaceSec project is live. The whitepaper will be published soon.

As the world becomes more reliant on technology, the risk of cyberattacks also increases. In order to maintain our safety and security in this increasingly digital world, we need to make sure that all aspects of our lives are as cyber-resistant as possible. One area that is particularly vulnerable to attack is space systems.

The SpaceSec Whitepaper: Science and Engineering Foundations for Space Cybersecurity is an important document that lays the groundwork for future space cybersecurity efforts. The paper reviews current state-of-the-art science and engineering approaches to security, and identifies knowledge gaps that need to be filled in order to improve space cybersecurity.

One of the key findings of the paper is that a holistic, systems-level approach is needed for space cybersecurity. This means taking into account all aspects of space mission design, from hardware to software to operations. It also means looking at threats from both outside and inside the space systems. By understanding how all these elements interact with each other, we can develop more effective security solutions.

Another important finding is that we need better methods for verifying system safety and security during development cycles. Currently, there is no foolproof way to do this; it’s always possible for a malicious actor to find a way around existing safeguards. We need new ways of verifying system safety and security without compromising performance or introducing new vulnerabilities.

The SpaceSec Whitepaper provides an important roadmap for improving space cybersecurity in the years ahead



As our reliance on satellites for everything from communication to navigation grows, so too does the need for robust security measures to protect these systems from natural and artificial threats. Unfortunately, space vehicles are vulnerable to a wide range of dangers, from solar weather to collision with debris, as well as increasingly sophisticated attacks from cybercriminals and state actors who seek to deny, disrupt, or destroy commercial, civil, and military space systems.

Most satellite services were not designed with defensive measures in mind and are therefore vulnerable to cyber-attacks, jamming and spoofing techniques, laser dazzling and kinetic effects. SpaceSec is working on concepts, capability designs and prototypes for defending against these threats in order to protect our vital space capabilities.


Space Systems Architecture

History of Space Systems Security

Mult-disciplinary Approach to Space Systems Security

Proposed Solutions

Future Research Areas


Appendices and References

  1. HAS-1&2
  2. OPS-SAT
  3. SRDL-1


$ Houston,
$ we have a problem here.



“Space-based assets are critical to the modern military’s capability and form part of the critical national infrastructure of a modern economy. Being able to protect and defend the assets is critical to both military and to the day-to-day running of the modern economy.” - Dr Michael Holden

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