Understanding and investigating adversary threats and countermeasures in the context of space cybersecurity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Satellite technologies are used for both civil and military purposes in the modern world, and typical applications include Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) services, which have a direct impact several economic, social and environmental protection activity. The increasing reliance on satellite services for safety-of-life and mission-critical applications (e.g., transport, defense and public safety services) creates a severe, although often overlooked, security problem, particularly when it comes to cyber threats. Like other increasingly digitized services, satellites and space platforms are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Thus, the existence of cybersecurity flaws may pose major threats to space-based assets and associated key infrastructure on the ground. These dangers could obstruct global economic progress and, by implication, international security if they are not properly addressed. Mega-constellations make protecting space infrastructure from cyberattacks much more difficult. This emphasizes the importance of defensive cyber countermeasures to minimize interruptions and ensure efficient and reliable contributions to critical infrastructure operations. Very importantly, space systems are inherently complex Cyber-Physical System (CPS) architectures, where communication, control and computing processes are tightly interleaved, and associated hardware/software components are seamlessly integrated. This represents a new challenge as many known physical threats (e.g., conventional electronic warfare measures) can now manifest their effects in cyberspace and, vice-versa, some cyber-threats can have detrimental effects in the physical domain. The concept of cyberspace underlies nearly every aspect of modern society's critical activities and relies heavily on critical infrastructure for economic advancement, public safety and national security. Many governments have expressed the desire to make a substantial contribution to secure cyberspace and are focusing on different aspects of the evolving industrial ecosystem, largely under the impulse of digital transformation and sustainable development goals. The level of cybersecurity attained in this framework is the sum of all national and international activities implemented to protect all actions in the cyber-physical ecosystem. This paper focuses on cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities in various segments of space CPS architectures. More specifically, the paper identifies the applicable cyber threat mechanisms, conceivable threat actors and the associated space business implications. It also presents metrics and strategies for countering cyber threats and facilitating space mission assurance.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publication2022 IEEE/AIAA 41st Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2022 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665486071
StatePublished - 2022
Event41st IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2022 - Portsmouth, United States
Duration: 18 Sep 202222 Sep 2022

Publication series

NameAIAA/IEEE Digital Avionics Systems Conference - Proceedings
ISSN (Print)2155-7195
ISSN (Electronic)2155-7209


Conference41st IEEE/AIAA Digital Avionics Systems Conference, DASC 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Avionics Systems
  • Cyber-Physical Systems
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cyberspace
  • Cyberthreats
  • Mission Assurance
  • Safety-Critical Infrastructure
  • Satellite Systems
  • Space Infrastructure
  • Space Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding and investigating adversary threats and countermeasures in the context of space cybersecurity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this