• Welcome to Demakis Technologies! We are waiting to help you!

Category Archives: Network Security

Cyber-Attacks on Space

Cyber-Attacks on Space

Today, we will be discussing space security and the ways to protect space assets from cyber-attacks.

We’ll also explain:

  • Why certain systems are vulnerable
  • What the main threats to space infrastructure are
  • The possibility for you to travel in space
  • How to prevent terrorism cyber-attacks

Let’s dive right in!

Why are space systems vulnerable to cyber-attacks?

Much of the world’s infrastructure depends on space assets. Essential systems such as telecommunications, financial services, air transport, and weather monitoring need satellites, ground stations, and data transfer to function properly.

This dependence leads to several cyber threats:

  • Many space systems were created when cybersecurity wasn’t a priority. Those old systems have vulnerabilities like hardcoded credentials — used by ships, planes, and the military — which cybercriminals can access easily.
  • Spaceflight is slowly transforming from a public endeavor to a commercial industry. There are more commercial providers that offer a variety of services in space –which means more targets for cyber-attacks.

Satellite Security Threats

Cyber Attack on Space spoof

With the rise in innovative processes and spaceship technology, electronic and cyber threats are spreading.

The Aerospace Corporation points out that the main threats to space infrastructure are:

  • transmission of false data from an untrusted source
  • giving bad instructions to manipulate controls (spoofing)
  • interruption or delay in communication (jamming)

For example, take GPS. An attacker can find a way to command and control the uplink signal to a satellite. That way, he can spoof the downlink from a satellite and inject false data into a target’s communications systems.

  • Malware can be used to infect ground-based systems, such as satellite control centers

Space Travel and Cybersecurity

Nowadays, modern technology is making it possible for international organizations and even individuals to travel into space. That raises the question of cybersecurity and regulation of the activities of private entities in space. 

In August 2020, NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission made it clear that space exploration is no longer a restricted domain. Besides flying astronauts into space, SpaceX’s Dragon Spacecraft will also carry private passengers to Earth’s orbit, as well as the International Space Station.

And the more spacecrafts connect with ground-based assets, the larger the attack surface will get in the future.

Space and International Security

Space cyber-attacks could interfere with the global economy and international security unless they’re prevented.

There are some space cybersecurity standards and regulations that already exist, including the Committee on National Security Systems’ information assurance standards for commercial satellites that carry classified or sensitive data.

The Trump Administration also released the Space Policy Directive 5 to offer the US Government’s comprehensive space cybersecurity policy principles to the world.

Future Cyber Security Threats

Cyber Attack on Space threats

When dealing with future space-based cyberthreats we need creative and innovative solutions.

The Future of Space Warfare

In the future, cyber warfare capabilities could become a larger challenge for several reasons.

Cyber warfare technologies are becoming an option for space warfare because they are getting cheap and easily accessible. Also, they can be developed faster than anti-satellite weapons.

An attack on satellites could have consequences of a much larger scale and lead to serious conflicts among nations that possess assets in space.

Preventing Cyberterrorism

Bill Malik, VP of Infrastructure Strategies at Trend Micro, presented some ways of preventing cyberterrorism:

  • To prevent jamming, satellite operators should have their communications repeatedly “hop” between frequencies
  • Increase use of GPS authentication, for ground-based systems that depend on satellite communication
  • Secure the information and data sent and received from satellites

How Can the US Prevent Cyber Attacks?

The US can help prevent cyberterrorism with:

  • A regulatory approach— setting up industry-led standards for collaboration across sectors that will enable counter-terror organization to share information and assess risks much better
  • International cooperation and partnership with former and new allies —to create sustainable norm frameworks for dealing with cyberterrorism in space

NASA Space Technology Roadmap 2020

Cyber Attack on Space NASA

NASA’s Integrated Space Technology Roadmap includes technology strategies and a wide range of pathways to advance the nation’s capabilities in space.

It includes the following 14 drafts of Space Technology Area Roadmaps:

  • Launch Propulsion Systems
  • In-Space Propulsion Technologies
  • Space Power and Energy Storage
  • Robotics, Tele-Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  • Communication and Navigation
  • Human Health, Life Support and Habitation Systems
  • Human Exploration Destination Systems
  • Science Instruments, Observatories and Sensor Systems
  • Entry, Descent and Landing Systems
  • Nanotechnology
  • Modeling, Simulation, Information Technology and Processing
  • Materials, Structures, Mechanical Systems and Manufacturing
  • Ground and Launch Systems Processing
  • Thermal Management Systems

This may be just the start. But if you want to learn more about this topic, please continue to check out our blogs.

Closer to Earth, cybersecurity is a problem, as well. That’s why it’s important to use services that can prevent attacks, make your business less vulnerable, and protect your data and assets 24/7.

We can help you with that!

Demakis Technologies offers a full cybersecurity service that protects your data and other vital resources.

Please contact us to find out more about this service, and one of our professional engineers will be glad to help answer any questions you may have.

Five Emerging Cyber-Threats to Watch Out for in 2021

Five Emerging Cyber-Threats to Watch Out for in 2021

What was the driving force behind your company’s digital strategy in 2020?

Was it your CEO? Probably not. Your CTO or CISO? Perhaps. 

In reality, for most organizations, it was COVID-19. In 2019, one company after another said: “work-from-home isn’t an option for us” or “we aren’t interested in shifting operations to the cloud.” 

Then everything changed. The pandemic drove a massive shift towards remote work. For many companies, this wasn’t even an option — it was a case of ‘do or die.’ 

By April 2020, almost half of the American workforce was working from home. As organizations and employees become more comfortable with this, we shouldn’t expect a full return to the traditional in-office model anytime soon, if ever. Work-from-anywhere is the new way of doing business, with employees accessing cloud services, collaborative tools and remote systems from home and public networks – and not always through the safety of a VPN. 

This rapid shift brings a host of security challenges for companies, and we think five trends will dominate the cybersecurity landscape in 2021. 

1. Yesterday’s Cyber-Threats, Evolved 

Cyber-Threats to Watch Out for in 2021

First off, it seems clear that ‘known’ cyber-threats such as phishing, ransomware, Trojans and botnets will remain prominent. Such attacks are increasingly automated and tailored with personal info, often mined from company websites and social networks. As trends towards automation increase, these sorts of hazards will keep growing in number and frequency. 

Current events can shape these cyber-threats as well. We saw a surge in phishing emails during the pandemic, taking advantage of victims’ unfamiliarity with remote work applications or purporting to contain details of much-needed stimulus checks. 

As malware and social engineering campaigns are industrialized, cyber-criminals can assess and fine-tune their attacks based on the results achieved until they have a truly dangerous threat with a considerable success rate. 

2. Fileless Attacks 

As the name suggests, fileless attacks – a subset of ‘living off the land’ (LotL) attacks, which exploit tools and features already present in the victim’s environment – don’t rely on file-based payloads, and generally don’t generate new files either. As a result, they have the potential to fly under the radar of many prevention and detection solutions. 

A typical fileless attack might start with an emailed link to a malicious website. Social engineering tricks on that site can launch system tools, such as PowerShell, which retrieve and execute additional payloads directly in system memory. Detecting malicious use of built-in system tools, as opposed to their many legitimate automation and scripting uses, is a real challenge for traditional defenses. 

Fileless attacks aren’t new, exactly. The use of system tools as backdoors has been around for decades, but owing to the tactic’s considerable success rate – and the fact that leveraging existing system processes can shorten malware development cycles – they’re rapidly trending upwards. Also, fileless attacks aren’t limited to individual organizations: we see attackers increasingly targeting service providers, abusing their infrastructure and management tools to compromise their clients. 

3. Cloud and Remote Service Attacks 

Cyber-Threats in 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to quickly adopt new cloud services, remote access tools and collaboration apps. However, many organizations lacked IT experts with the relevant training to properly configure these solutions – not to mention lacking the time to properly vet available tools or the budget to work with proven vendors rather than gravitating towards free alternatives of questionable quality. 

Server applications, containers and cloud storage aren’t always well-protected, and are seen by cyber-criminals as prime targets with a large attack surface. Compromising one service may expose scores of organizations downstream – a variant of supply chain attack, which sidesteps organizational security by infiltrating higher levels in the supply network and deploying payloads through the tools you rely on and trust. Misconfiguration only raises the risk, exposing more services to attackers. Such scenarios will inevitably lead to data breaches. 

4. Business Process Compromises 

Sometimes, cyber-criminals identify vulnerabilities not in applications, but in the process flow of business operations. We’re seeing an increase in business process compromises, in which threat actors take advantage of systemic operational weaknesses for financial gain. 

Attacks on business processes demand considerable knowledge of the victims’ systems and operations. They often begin with a compromised system on the target network, through which cyber-criminals can observe the organization’s processes and gradually identify weak links. 

These attacks are often quite discrete, and impacted organizations may not detect them in a timely fashion – especially if the compromised process continues to work ‘as expected’ despite producing different results. As an example, attackers could siphon funds by compromising an automatic invoicing tool and changing the bank account number that’s populated into each future invoice. 

5. Customized Payloads 

Five Cyber-Threats to Watch Out for in 2021

As we’ve seen in the contrast between phishing and spear-phishing, targeted attacks, while requiring extra effort on the threat actors’ part, are considerably more effective at compromising systems and data. This approach is starting to get much more sophisticated. 

Cyber-criminals can discover a lot about your network from company websites, social media and, of course, by compromising individual systems on the network. Pervasive, dual-use tools like PowerShell and WMI allow attackers to learn more about the tools and services your company relies on without setting off red flags. Armed with knowledge of these tools and the vulnerabilities present in each, they can construct payloads specifically designed to bring down not just a network, but your network. 

Approaches for 2021 

As cyber-criminals continue to evolve their technologies and attack strategies, organizations must adjust their approaches to cybersecurity and data protection. System-level anti-virus software isn’t enough to combat modern cyber-threats. Nor is file backup alone enough to safeguard against digital disruption by malicious actors. 

Businesses need to protect all their workloads, data and applications across multiple domains, and that requires integrated solutions that automate the system monitoring, vulnerability assessments and endpoint protection required to stop emerging threats. 

Let’s face it: 2020 has been a challenging year for cybersecurity and IT pros. Most have successfully navigated the massive changes, but unless they start preparing for the next wave of threats, 2021 may be just as rocky.

If you’d like to learn more about cyber-threats and how to protect your business in upcoming year, contact us here at Demakis Technologies.