Cybersecurity News that Matters

Cybersecurity News that Matters

South Korea launches national effort to tackle space security with new consultative body

Designed by Areum Hwang, The Readable

by Kuksung Nam

Jun. 05, 2024
9:06 PM GMT+9

South Korean government agencies and research institutions agreed on Tuesday to collaborate to secure the nation’s satellite systems, marking a significant step forward in protecting space assets—a critical frontier for cybersecurity.

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) announced the formation of a consultative body dedicated to protecting satellites throughout their entire life cycle, from design to decommissioning. This body comprises twenty organizations, including government agencies, the military, and research institutions. Among them is the Korea AeroSpace Administration, established last month, along with other government organizations that operate and utilize satellite data through their affiliated institutions or centers.

The NIS emphasized that this initiative marks the first comprehensive effort to counter potential cyber threats against satellite systems, as, previously, organizations have been responsible for protecting space assets on their own. This year, the new consultative body will focus on establishing security measures tailored to specific satellite missions and operations, as well as creating cybersecurity guidelines specifically for satellite systems. Additionally, they plan to develop a medium- and long-term roadmap to organize collective countermeasures against space security threats.

Representatives of twenty organizations gathered on Tuesday for the first time to signal the start of a new consultative body on satellite cybersecurity. Source: National Intelligence Service (NIS)

The country’s intelligence agency revised the regulations on space security, which took effect last month, empowering them to respond to and protect space assets from potential threats. This revision allows the intelligence agency to establish and enforce security guidelines related to data on space assets. Previously, the NIS’s duties were limited to collecting, producing, and distributing information relevant to securing space assets.

The NIS emphasized the need for robust security in satellite systems and facilities due to the increasing intensity of cyber threats. The agency cited a recent hacking attempt on a national satellite facility and a cyberattack on the U.S.-based satellite company Viasat during the Russia-Ukraine war as examples. Furthermore, last March, the NIS, the Ministry of Science and ICT, and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) confirmed a hacking attempt targeting the Korea Satellite Operations Center, which manages low Earth orbit satellites. However, they did not disclose specifics such as the exact timeline of the incident or the extent of the exposure.

“Space is rapidly emerging as a new frontier that must be included in national security considerations. We will continue to collaborate with relevant agencies, including satellite development and operation institutions, to establish the foundation for protecting our national space assets from unforeseen cyber threats,” stated Yoon Oh-jun, Third Deputy Director of the NIS.


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  • Kuksung Nam
    : Author

    Kuksung Nam is a journalist for The Readable. She has extensively traversed the globe to cover the latest stories on the cyber threat landscape and has been producing in-depth stories on security and...

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