Internet communication via satellite “Danger of leakage” pointed out by British researcher 19:11 on August 6


We have found that there is a security weakness in Internet communication conducted through artificial satellites, there is a risk that the contents of the communication may be leaked, and it may also be used for serious cyber attacks. A British researcher who reported the situation at an international cybersecurity conference called for the need for countermeasures.

It was held online at the world's largest international conference on cybersecurity, Blackhat, reported by James Pavo of Oxford University on June 6th.

As a result, we received radio waves from 18 satellites for broadcasting in the space of about 30,000 kilometers above the ground from North America to Europe and China with a commercially available antenna, etc. Analysis revealed that all 18 aircraft were communicating without being encrypted and were in a state where confidential information could be seen.

Internet communication via artificial satellites is mainly used for communication from mountainous areas that do not have communication bases, ships at sea, planes, etc. In addition to seeing passport information, I was able to understand the contents of the meeting on the ground using the net onboard the aircraft.

It was also pointed out that in European wind power generation systems, the authentication information on the login page for controlling the system is visible, which could lead to cyber attacks such as takeover of the system.

Mr. Pavo said that he has already notified relevant authorities and companies of the danger, but that many of them are still insufficiently responded. Need to hurry."

Risk to Japanese satellite communications

According to the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, satellite-based communications are widely used in Japan, such as internet service services for aircraft and ships, and communications for SDF and police activities at disaster sites.

The country is proceeding with countermeasures, as there is a risk of information leakage and system takeover if encryption and other countermeasures are not sufficient in such communications.

Space cyber attack risk

In this announcement, it was pointed out that there is a possibility of serious cyber attacks such as the satellite itself being taken over by exploiting the ability to intercept communications.

According to Mitsui Bussan Secure Direction, which is working on cyber security measures for outer space, cyber attacks that have been taken over by satellites or interrupted communications have been confirmed in the last few years.

Among them, in 2008, a system for operating NASA = US Aeronautics and Space Administration satellites was hijacked, and this satellite was also equipped with observation equipment for resource exploration used by Japanese government agencies. That is.

Also, in 2011, the drone of the US CIA = Central Intelligence Agency, which was active in gathering information on Iran, was captured in Iran by modifying the position information received from satellites. is.

Yasuo Takahashi, Senior Researcher, Mitsui Secure Director, said, “The universe is a dream space, but it is necessary for both the system operators and users to recognize that the threats are increasing in various forms of use. There is."

Consider advanced safety measures in each country

How can we improve the safety of satellite communications? More sophisticated security measures are required for communications that handle highly confidential information, such as defense and police, and are being studied in countries around the world, including the United States and China.

In Japan, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology is using it for next-generation satellite communications, so we are developing a technology called quantum cryptography that cannot be tapped in principle.

A research and development base will be established in Koganei City, Tokyo later this year.

On the other hand, in a statement made on the 6th, Mr. James Pavaud of Oxford University said that it is not easy from the cost and technical point of view to encrypt all the communication itself of satellites that are widely used nowadays. did.

In addition, he pointed out that it is necessary for the user to take measures such as using email software that can be encrypted.