After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US government has warned about “possible threats” on global satellite communication networks.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have issued a warning, saying they are aware of possible threats to the US and international satellite communication (SATCOM) networks.
Successful intrusions into SATCOM networks could create risk in network providers’ customer environments.
The fresh warning came as satellite modems belonging to thousands of customers in Europe went offline as Russia began the invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The attack affected US telecommunications firm Viasat that owned the affected network.
“Given the current geopolitical situation, CISA’s ‘Shields Up’ initiative requests that all organisations significantly lower their threshold for reporting and sharing indications of malicious cyber activity,” it said in a statement.
CISA and FBI strongly encouraged critical infrastructure organisations and other organisations that are either SATCOM network providers or customers to review and implement the mitigations outlined in this CSA to strengthen SATCOM network cybersecurity.
Last month, Western intelligence agencies launched a probe into the cyber-attack that hit Viasat, resulting in a huge communications outage across Europe.
“We currently believe this was a deliberate, isolated and external cyber event,” Viasat spokesperson Chris Phillips had said.
“Viasat’s continuous and ongoing mitigation efforts have stabilised the KA-SAT network,” he added.