Cybersecurity for Satellite Middleware
Elise Blackmon, Portia Herndon, David Hill Jr.
In the past, satellites were unaccessible and mostly used by governments and large corporations. Today, satellites are available for use by the general public and incorporated into our everyday lives. Satellites have many uses including monitoring weather, sending television signals, and sending signals to be read by navigation devices for directions. With the number of satellites increasing, the need for securing these satellites is also increasing. Historically, people have been convinced that they can trust companies to provide adequate security and protect their sensitive information from hackers. As exemplified by the cybersecurity incidents that have happened in the recent past, this is not always the case. Cybercriminals are constantly trying to gain access to sensitive or classified information, and they are often successful. In 1999, a group of computer hackers seized control of a British military communications satellite and changed the characteristics of channels used to convey military communications, satellite television, and telephone calls. This is just one example of why it is important to conduct research on satellite security to understand potential security threats and prevent cyber attacks. Our primary research method is to get an open source satellite application to function in our research lab and then work on targeting the satellite application with security tools to explore vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities will then be used to prototype and evaluate defensive solutions.
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