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Trust And Truth In Space Situational Awareness

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  • Trust And Truth In Space Situational Awareness

    Title: Trust And Truth In Space Situational Awareness

    Space Situational Awareness Data (SSA) is the lifeblood of responsible spaceflight. With tens of thousands of debris objects in orbit, knowing where and when collisions may occur is key to preventing lasting environmental harm. However, SSA data collection is inordinately complex, creating natural incentives for centralized information sharing. When actors lack the capability to independently monitor the state of orbit, they find themselves forced to trust third parties.

    In this talk, we consider how a sufficiently motivated attacker might modify SSA repositories to deliberately conceal or falsify collision projections to influence the behaviors of satellite owners. In addition to a high-level discussion of the relevant threat model, we will present simulated implementations of these attacks. We will also briefly consider various mitigation techniques which can be employed by both SSA operators and data recipients against such attacks.

    This talk will touch on basic principles of orbital dynamics and spaceflight operations but assumes no prior background in physics. It is intended to serve as starting point for those interested in how the physical dynamics of outer space can manifest as unique security challenges.

    This event will be coordinated on the DEF CON Discord server, in channel #av-space-text.



    Speaker(s): James Pavur

    Location: Aerospace Vlg


    Event starts: 2020-08-09 10:00 (10:00 AM) PDT (UTC -07:00)

    Event ends: 2020-08-09 10:30 (10:30 AM) PDT (UTC -07:00)

    For the most up-to-date information, please either visit, or use HackerTracker, which is available for iOS and Android. This is an automated message, and this data was last modified 2020-08-06T21:17 (UTC).
    August 9, 2020 10:00
    August 9, 2020 10:30
    Aerospace Vlg
    Last edited by aNullValue; August 7, 2020, 11:13.