Foreign intelligence entities have the US space industry in their sights, posing serious threats to US national security, multiple federal agencies say.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

August 24, 2023

1 Min Read
A satellite in outer space
Source: Chris Jobs via Alamy Stock Photo

In coordination with the FBI, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a warning about the growing threat of foreign intelligence entities (FIEs) as they continue to launch cyberattacks to gain access to the US space industry.

The US is the main driver of the global space economy's growth, which is projected to grow from $469 billion to $1 trillion by 2030. Because space is "fundamental to every aspect of our society, including emergency services, energy, financial services, telecommunications, transportation, and food and agriculture," foreign intelligence entities recognize how invaluable "US space-related innovation and assets" are in furthering new technologies, the group said in its joint statement.

Aside from global competition, there are also national and economic security concerns regarding the threats to US space innovation. These include harming US corporate reputations by these foreign entities creating counterfeit products, siphoning intellectual property, collecting sensitive data, and even going as far as to disrupt US satellite communications. In a presentation at Black Hat USA earlier this month, Johannes Willbold demonstrated how satellites can be hacked, proving that it's not as difficult as one might think.

Along with their joint statement, these counterintelligence agencies have also provided indicators for employees, contractors, and suppliers to understand the signs of foreign intelligence entities targeting them and opportunities for mitigation should organizations face any threats from these actors.

"If you believe your company's intellectual property has been targeted or is at risk of compromise, contact the Private Sector Coordinator at your local FBI Field Office," the NCSC stated in its notice.

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Dark Reading Staff

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