Hacking a European satellite is easier than one may believe and this is a problem for the European Space Agency as seen in a test carried out.
A group of cybersecurity experts carried out an ethical hacking drill in which they managed to hack and Take full control of a European Space Agency satellite (THAT). The objective of this exercise was to demonstrate the vulnerability of satellite systems and the need to strengthen security in space.
Of course, all this has been registered by the European Space Agency and, in fact, this agency agreed that this drill be carried out since they wanted to verify the safety of their satellites. The OPS-SAT nanosatellite was chosen as the victim of this experiment and everything went as expected.
The expert team from the Thales company has indicated that getting past the security measures of this satellite has not been complicated at all. In fact, managed to access the satellite’s global positioning system which allowed them to change the orientation or position of the satellite at will if that is what they wanted.
In a statement, Thales warns that unauthorized intrusion into these systems can seriously damage the satellite and even cause the mission to lose control. The company presented this demo to illustrate the importance of cyber resilience levels for agencies and companies exploring space.
Hacking a satellite to demonstrate its poor security is what this company has done
The European Space Agency makes it clear that control of the OPS-SAT nanosatellite has always been in its hands. In addition, it indicates that the company did not carry out any type of movement or risky maneuver in the return to earth of this satellite. What makes the situation on the part of this company even more curious.
Meanwhile, cybersecurity experts have claimed that they used standard access permissions to operate the application environment and found vulnerabilities that allowed them to insert malware into systems. With the help of malicious code, they were able to compromise the data transmitted to Earth and manipulate the images captured by the satellite’s camera.
In short, hacking a satellite is something really dangerous and that has been done for several decades. The technology of these devices may be the most advanced, but it is clear that there are situations that can be improved, such as having elements that are so easy to break that do not require an effort for attackers such as cybercriminals.