The European Space Agency (ESA) threw a cybersecurity challenge for space-related experts during an annual cybersecurity event. They were requested to attempt to manage the “OPS-SAT” demonstration nanosatellite’s activities.
The task was to use ethical hacking techniques to take over control of the satellite’s camera, altimeter system, and GPS. The primary objective was to determine how an unauthorized user could compromise the satellite’s mission or seriously damage it.
This specific test showed how important it is to have strong cybersecurity in space operations. It was conducted by Thales’ cybersecurity team working with the company’s Information Technology Security Evaluation Facility.
The data being transmitted back to Earth was put at danger by this action, particularly because it changed the pictures that the satellite’s camera took.
This exercise was primarily designed to simulate the potential outcomes of an actual cyberattack on space systems. During the test, ESA maintained control over the satellite’s systems to make sure they could resume normal operations.