Space Open To Cyber Attack

Cybersecurity in the space domain is an emerging area of focus for government and industry around the world. Recent events in conflict zones have further reenforced the vulnerability of essential critical infrastructure and defence areas to cyber vulnerabilities in the space segment.

Professor Rodrigo Praino, right, and Marco Aliberti, from the European Space Policy Institute, will present at next month’s forum.

“The fact that space services are becoming more pervasive and we are becoming more dependent on them further increases the risk,” says Flinders University Professor Rodrigo Praino, ahead of the 2nd Australian Space Cyber Forum in Adelaide this month.

“For example, the war in Ukraine has been referred to as ‘the first space cyber war’,” says Professor of Politics Praino, who leads the Jeff Bleich Centre (JBC) for Democracy and Disruptive Technologies at Flinders University.

“It showed us how a coordinated attack to space infrastructure can provide a clear military advantage to a belligerent power and also create significant security issues and economic damage to critical infrastructure, from telecommunications to the production of electricity.

“A cyberattack can be very damaging, and we need to be ready to defend ourselves against this threat.”

The Australian Space Cyber Forum in Adelaide (25-26 June 2024) will address some of these issues.

Fellow JBC researcher Vinicius de Oliveira is focusing on expanding security through space cyber policy and law advances, with PhD funding from the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre and Flinders University.

He says: “The most probable source of a space attack is actually a cyberattack. It is cost-efficient, stealthy, and can operate below the threshold of open conflict.”

Sharing space and cyber technology in a safe manner is vital, he says, with the global policy and legal landscape under rapid change driven by the global nature of space and cyber. New space architectures such as pLEO will drive both solutions and new problems into the space cyber segment.

As well as Professor Rodrigo Praino, other speakers include Marco Aliberti from the European Space Policy Institute, Dr Daniel Floreani (Director, CyberOps), Lt Gen Michelle McGuinness (National Office of Cyber Security), Peter Kerr (Defence & National Security Coordinator, SmartSatCRC) the Hon Stephen Mullighan MP (Treasurer and Minister for Defence and Space Industries, South Australia), Dr Paul Scully-Power (astronaut) and Dr Jarrod Powell (General Manager, National Space Capability, Technology and Programs, Australian Space Agency).

‘Cybersecurity for Space Industry’ is the theme of this year’s Australian Space Cyber Forum (ASCF), which is sponsored by Agora High-Tech, CyberOps and Flinders University.

Bookings for the 2nd Australian Space Cyber Forum at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 26 June 2024 can be made here: Humanitix

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