Advanced Television

FBI warns of further satellite cyber attacks

March 21, 2022

By Chris Forrester

A report from the FBI and the USA’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency says more attempts similar to the recent hacking of Viasat’s KA-SAT communications satellite are likely.

The report says that the current problems surrounding Russia means that satellite operators and service companies must examine their critical infrastructure and review and implement much stronger controls over their networks.

The report, while not naming specific sectors, warned that a successful intrusion could create risk in their customer environments. It’s reported that about eight million Americans rely on SATCOM networks for internet access.

The recent Viasat outage affected their direct customers in Ukraine but also reportedly interfered with some 5800 wind turbines in Germany. Viasat provides communications to the Ukraine military although this connectivity has more recently been aided by Elon Musk’s Starlink system.

Viasat spokesperson Chris Phillips, in a statement, said: “Viasat’s continuous and ongoing mitigation efforts have stabilised the KA-SAT network. Viasat is actively working with distributors to restore service for those fixed broadband users in Europe impacted by this event, with a priority focus on critical infrastructure and humanitarian assistance.”

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