RE: [ISN] Satellite Command Security?

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Jan 04 2002 - 03:11:21 PST

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    Forwarded from: "Jumelet, Johan" <Jumelet.Johanat_private>
    Has anyone verified the identity of this curious requestor? It would
    be nice to have many security specialists, who are curious by nature,
    digging this one out and then using the outcome for exactly........!
    Johan Jumelet.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: InfoSec News [mailto:isnat_private]
    Sent: donderdag 3 januari 2002 7:12
    To: isnat_private
    Subject: [ISN] Satellite Command Security? 
    Posted by Cliff on Wednesday January 02, @09:53AM
    from the preventing-orbital-hacking dept.
    teridon asks: "I work in the satellite control industry, and I've been
    asked to present mission safety with regards to command security. In
    other words, how do we ensure that 'unknowns' don't command the
    satellite. Military and commerical birds often employ encryption on
    both the uplink and the downlink. However, it seems that none of the
    science-oriented satellites my company operates do this. We rely on
    physical security (access to the control center), network security (we
    use closed networks), technology (most crackers don't have access to a
    huge radio antenna with which to transmit), and obscurity (each
    satellite has its own command structure, not publicly documented).  
    Many satellites use CCSDS frames to uplink commands; only the command
    data is obscured by lack of public info." A common mantra heard from
    Slashdot is "obscurity is not security", and this is a lesson that
    teridon wants his company to learn, in addition to other steps they
    can take to improve the security of their system. What suggestions
    might you have when it comes to improving security on satellite
    systems, especially if you have experience from some of the mistakes
    that you may have seen in production?
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