The year is 2019, and there are more than 1500 active satellites orbiting our planet. We don’t see them – we almost never think of them – but every day they make our modern lives possible, enabling an enormous range of vital services, like navigation, telecommunication and internet access.
Because of the important role of space technologies now and in the future, ensuring the safety and security of satellites is critical for civil society. This includes not only protecting space infrastructure from space-based hazards, like space weather or debris impacts, but also understanding the cybersecurity threats from Earth.
ESA regularly monitors cyber-attacks on its ground segment infrastructure – including control centres and antennas. Thanks to countermeasures in place, no damage has been caused by these attempted cyber-attacks, but events such as these highlight the importance of ensuring critical space systems do not fall victim to those with evil intent.