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Satellite operators warned by NRO chief to ‘secure their systems’ as Ukraine crisis unfolds

Because the Ukraine disaster escalates, the director of the Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace Christopher Scolese warned that satellites in house may very well be focused by Russia’s army in an effort to disrupt communications and GPS companies.

“I believe we’re seeing fairly clearly that Russia is dedicated to doing what they need to do in Ukraine, and so they need to win,” Scolese mentioned Feb. 23 on the Nationwide Safety House Affiliation’s Protection and Intelligence House Convention.

“So I believe it’s honest to imagine that, to the extent that they will, and to the extent that they really feel it gained’t prolong the battle out of their management, that they may prolong it into house,” Scolese mentioned.

The NRO operates U.S. government-owned spy satellites however more and more a number of imagery and intelligence is collected and distributed by business satellite tv for pc operators like Maxar, Planet, BlackSky, and others, so any try and disrupt america’ potential to collect intelligence may influence non-public and public belongings.

Scolese didn’t remark particularly on what actions the Russians may take however he mentioned it’s simple to think about primarily based on previous conduct. “They’re already doing GPS jamming, for example.”

Scolese mentioned each authorities and business satellites methods are potential targets. “I might inform all people that the essential factor is to go off and make sure that your methods are safe and that you simply’re watching them very carefully as a result of we all know that the Russians are efficient cyber actors.”

“And, once more, it’s exhausting to say how far their attain goes to go in an effort to obtain their targets. But it surely’s higher to be ready than stunned,” he added.

The U.S. military for years has worried that Russia and China throughout a battle will attempt to jam U.S. GPS and communications satellites.

Along with denying GPS by way of digital jamming assaults, Russia may additionally goal U.S. army GPS customers with falsified PNT information, a method referred to as spoofing. A GPS outage may wreak havoc throughout all army actions involving plane, ships, munitions, land automobiles and floor troops. “In an energetic army battle, even transient denials and spoofing of PNT may make a distinction if nicely timed with different operations,” mentioned a RAND Corp. report. Di Markets

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